Wednesday 22nd November 2017

Dear Reader,

How one thing leads to another
Starting with an investigation into the banking problems of a digital token exchange, we follow the trail of the people behind a Vanuatu Bank and a series of questionable transactions on London's AIM. (22-Nov-2017)

The CE's damaging tax proposals: a better approach
The Government proposes distortive gimmicks and loopholes rather than addressing structural issues. Public expenditure has grown faster than GDP, breaching the Basic Law. Revenues have grown even faster, draining capital from the economy. Time to return it. A flat rate of 10% for Profits Tax and Salaries Tax is entirely affordable. What is R&D anyway? New armies of tax consultants and assessors do not make our economy more productive. (24-Oct-2017)

HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA fined HK$400m for systemic failures in selling Lehman crap
SFC, 21-Nov-2017

Patrick Ho Chi Ping & former Senegal Foreign Minister charged with bribing Chad President & Ugandan Foreign Minister
US Department of Justice, 20-Nov-2017
Goodness, what has Patrick Ho Chi Ping, GBS, JP, former HK Secretary for Home Affairs, been up to? Is another former member of Donald Tsang's cabinet headed for the slammer? More importantly, the DoJ complaint provides insights into Chad's dealings with state-owned PetroChina parent CNPC. Privately-held CEFC China Energy Co Ltd, the ownership of which remains unknown, was apparently trying to get a piece of the action. Ho is Secretary-General of its pseudo-think tank in HK, China Energy Fund Committee Ltd.

Webb on "The Pulse" re digital pseudo-currencies
RTHK, 18-Nov-2017
Jump to Part 2 at timestamp 10:40.

Ex-UBS associate director Tu Bing gets 3.5 years for HK$1.46m bribery
ICAC, 16-Nov-2017

Enterprise Dev (1808) to buy 50% of Taiping Securities from China Taiping (0966)CCASS movements
Company announcement, 15-Nov-2017
This is interesting, because it appears from Webb-site CCASS Analysis that Rentian (0885) may have pledged its 38.71% controlling shareholding of Enterprise Dev to Taiping Securities in July this year, something that the announcement does not mention. For the sale, China Taiping would receive new shares and a convertible bond in Enterprise Dev. That raises the question of whether Rentian and China Taiping will be acting in concert to control Enterprise Dev.

Webb: HKEX reforms won't help independent directors
RTHK, 10-Nov-2017

CSD officer and former prisoner jailed for smuggling items into LCKRC
ICAC, 8-Nov-2017
Tsang Sin Sing supplied facial cleanser and lip balm to prisoner Wong Wai Leung. It was probably a face-saving exercise, but his lips are sealed.

Sale by CK Asset (1113) of floors in The Center avoids HK$3.4bn in stamp duty
Company announcement, 1-Nov-2017
They are selling the BVI company which owns the properties via various subsidiaries for $40.2bn. Double Stamp Duty at 8.5% would be payable if they were selling the properties directly. Contrary to media reports, the sale does not involve the whole building. Deals like this beg the question, what is the point of the Government's "Double Stamp Duty" except to penalise those who have not put their properties into companies? Incidentally, the Center is in Sheung Wan, not Central, just as Central Plaza is in Wan Chai.

And much more besides...
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David M. Webb