Wednesday 24th January 2018

Dear Reader,

Your stocks, your way
We're launching new features for registered users. Build your own stock list, use a dashboard to find information on the stocks, and see CCASS movements, total returns and directors' dealings for your stocks in one page. And yes, it's all free! We also encourage users to give something back to the community by anonymously contributing your Governance Ratings of companies and Trust Ratings of people. (24-Jan-2018)

The wrong way to pay civil servants
A new ICAC case reminds us that the Government and public sector get bad value for taxpayers and lose good people by paying time-limited benefits that are based on irrelevant factors rather than the value of their services. Scrap all the benefits schemes and pay people what they are worth. At the same time, remove the housing loophole from salaries tax, raise personal allowances and bring down the tax rate to compensate. (13-Jan-2018)

Webb-site Who's Who covers HK solicitors
After a lot of coding over Christmas pudding and more than a dash of brandy butter, we are pleased to launch a new section of our database, monitoring HK lawyers. Now you can answer questions such as: Which are the biggest law firms? Who is the longest-practising solicitor? Who moved jobs this month? How many were admitted in other jurisdictions before or after HK? How many HK solicitors work for the SFC? (12-Jan-2018)

Ex-Deutsche Bank executive and warrant trader admit HK$6.4m bribery
ICAC, 22-Jan-2018
Ha But Yee admits paying HK$6.4m to Ma Sin Chi between Jan-2007 and May-2008, for information on derivative warrants issued by DB. Mr Ha and his family made a net profit of over HK$203m through trading of DB warrants. Ma remained a Responsible Officer of DB until 6-Jan-2012. The ICAC doesn't mention that this guilty plea follows a previous trial in which the defendants were found guilty but the convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal due to misdirection of the jury by the Judge. By then, they had already served 2.5 years of a 7-year sentence.

Cogobuy (0400): breach of Listing Rules: late disclosure of loans to Blueberry Capital Ltd
Company announcement, 22-Jan-2018
Cogobuy reveals that during 2017 it granted a US$230m loan facility to Blueberry. KPMG quit as auditors 5 weeks ago citing insufficient information to be satisfied that the loans were properly accounted for. Cogobuy again fails to mention that the BVI firm was a cornerstone investor in its 2014 IPO. The owner(s) of this firm have not been disclosed. We note that Viewtran Group Inc, a former NASDAQ firm controlled by Jeffrey Kang, Cogobuy's CEO, sold substantially all its assets to Blueberry in 2015 for US$70m before delisting and retaining the proceeds. This is the only other reference to Blueberry that we can find online. So who owns it, Mr Kang?

SFC bans Chan Wai Nun, ex-DBS, for 6 months
SFC, 22-Jan-2018
For e-mailing his client list to his personal e-mail account before he left the bank.

Man convicted of theft in 1976 cleared after Googling his arresting officer
Guardian, 18-Jan-2018
A good demonstration that the European Court of Justice's "right to be forgotten" is wrong. Mr Simmons found that 5 years after his wrongful 1975 conviction, the arresting officer was jailed for similar offences. The bent cop died in jail in 1982, but had he survived, he could have required Google to take down all references to his conviction and Mr Simmons would never have been exonerated.

And much more besides...
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David M. Webb