Tuesday 30th January 2018

Dear Reader,

Before today's article, let me just refer those who are interested in the latest disqualification of a candidate for election to the Legislative Council to our article of 17-Aug-2016, A sordid electoral affair. A candidate who disagrees with any part of the Basic Law implicitly wishes to amend it, but can still undertake to uphold it in the meantime. There is no contradiction. Indeed, the Basic Law states that it cannot be amended without the approval of two-thirds of LegCo (amongst others), so excluding people who seek to change it in any way would prevent any change ever happening.

The BL also states that no amendment shall contravene "the established basic policies of the People's Republic of China regarding Hong Kong" but again, the established policies may change over time (particularly after 2047), and approval of the NPC Standing Committee is also required for any changes anyway. This doesn't prevent proposed amendments from being advocated, however fanciful they may be. No proper democracy excludes candidates based on their political views.

The latest move excludes a new candidate from a party whose previous candidate was allowed to run and was successfully elected in 2016, without any material change in its platform, not that platforms or personal opinions should be relevant to the acceptance of nomination. The noose is tightening. Meanwhile, HK is still waiting for Court of First Instance Justice Thomas Au Hing Cheung to produce his judgment on the election petition of an excluded candidate from 2016, Andy Chan Ho Tin, whose case was heard 8 months ago. The outcome of that case, which will likely be appealed by the losing side, will be informative to the current situation, so now would be a good time to cough it up. Justice delayed is justice denied. The same judge, we note, ruled in 3 months on the disqualification of legislators based on the solmenity and sincerity of their oaths.

Kingston (1031): things you should know
Even after today's plunge, Kingston is trading at 13.2x net tangible assets of $0.508 per share, 70.8x trailing earnings, and is heavily dependent on low-cost loans from its majority shareholder. Don't bet on that continuing. We also look at the extent of its margin lending to controlling shareholders of large numbers of other listed companies. (30-Jan-2018)

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)

China Touyun (1332) sells 11.78% of Win Wind back to Enerchina (0622) for an IOU
Company announcement, 25-Jan-2018
Both companies are in what we call the "Chung Nam Network".

Ex-bar bender in court for HK$572k wages fraud and perversion
ICAC, 24-Jan-2018
For those less familiar with HK, a bar bender is a construction worker, not a crooked barrister or someone who goes on an all-night binge in Wanchai (nor both).

And much more besides...
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David M. Webb
Editor, Webb-site.com