Tuesday 18th September 2018

Dear Reader,

Greetings from Bangkok, where I am appearing at a Corporate Governance Conference. Now please add your anonymous views to our opinion poll on a quick change to the HK Listing Rules. You will need to log in to vote. If you have forgotten your Webb-site password, you can reset it here.

Who showed up? A simple change to the Listing Rules
Announcements of AGM/EGM outcomes should include directors' attendance. We shouldn't have to wait for the next annual report to find out who showed up. VOTE NOW!

SFC fines Huatai HK$800k for accidentally short-selling bonus shares of Great Wall Motor (2333)
SFC, 17-Sep-2018
Ironically, the SFC makes the same mistake as Huatai made when dealing. The SFC news says: "On 30 September 2015, when the bonus shares started trading on an ex-rights basis…". But the bonus shares didn't start trading until 14-Oct, that's the whole point. The existing shares began trading ex-bonus on 30-Sep. Let this be a reminder that when a company declares a bonus issue, it effectively delists a portion of its shares from the ex-date until the bonus shares are issued.

Trio guilty of bribery and disclosing identity of person under ICAC probe
ICAC, 14-Sep-2018
Leung Siu Lun, an ex-Vice President of HSBC's Mong Kok business centre, accepted bribes from Mickey Chu Kong, including hotel nights in Macau and free use of cars, one of which was parked in a Wilson car park supervised by his mother. When the ICAC came looking for parking records, she tipped off Leung.

Job seeker admits seeking employments by using false academic proofs and deception
ICAC, 12-Sep-2018
After fooling 2 Government departments, in 2013 Mr Poon Hoi Kan applied for an ICAC job using his bogus Australian graduation certificate. We note that he was convicted in Sep-2016 of disclosing to others that his elder brother was under ICAC investigation, after getting his wife to file a complaint in 2015 with the ICAC. Poon got 140 hours of community service for that.

Censure of Inno-Tech (8202), Michael Ang Wing Fung and several other directors
SEHK, 12-Sep-2018
Mr Ang was previously censured on 27-Jul-2017 for failing to cooperate with the investigation.

Lucy Michaels v Harbour Grand Hong Kong
HK Court of First Instance, 12-Sep-2018
Mrs Michaels claims for breach of contract and emotional stress after refusing to pay a deposit for a 1-month serviced apartment. Her claim is struck out. The licence agreement was not executed. The judge notes "it is plain and obvious that there was no legally enforceable agreement" and further "that there is no realistic prospect for Mrs Michaels to prove that Harbour Grand had any intention to inflict any injury (physical or mental)", nor that it was reckless to that risk. "Any such suggestion is, in my view, fanciful".

Lucy Michaels v Centaline, Chiu Chi Hung & Elina Pow Mui Ling
HK Court of First Instance, 12-Sep-2018
Mrs Michaels claims that she suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and PTSD in a flat rented by her daughter. The Master struck out her claim as it was beyond the 3-year limit in the Limitations Ordinance. Deputy Judge Paul Lam SC agrees, adding that "Mrs Michaels' claim is far-fetched, imaginative, and fanciful; it does not have any evidential basis at all. It would not make sense to disapply the limitation period to allow her to proceed with a hopeless claim."

SFC v Cheng Chak Ngok & MMTSFC announcement
HK Court of Appeal, 10-Sep-2018
The court rules that the MMT, chaired by Garry Tallentire, was "plainly wrong when it found that Mr Cheng had not engaged in market misconduct by insider dealing" in China Gas (0384) shares, because it had applied a criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt) rather than the civil standard (on a balance of probabilities). The court sends the matter back to a differently constituted MMT panel.

Elliott International v BEA (0023) & others
HK Court of First Instance, 7-Sep-2018
Justice Jonathan Harris grants Elliott permission to publish the Points of Defence and the Points of Reply, in the interests of open justice. The broader question, in our view, is why, in the 21st century, are written submissions and other documents for open hearings not filed electronically and made available for free via the judiciary web site?

HKSAR v Donald Tsang Yam Kuen
HK Court of Appeal, 31-Aug-2018
Leave to appeal to the CFA is refused. The court rules that the application is "not only without merit but, given the plethora of disparate questions posed under each point of law, was also without the distillation and focus that is expected of such applications."

Airport Authority ED Wilson Fung Wing Yip and Cheyenne Chan Ung Iok charged with bribery
ICAC, 31-Aug-2018
The ICAC says that according to the Department of Justice, there is unsufficient evidence to prosecute "other persons involved in the investigation".

ExCo convenor Bernard Chan calls for private housing price-fixingHK Government invasion of the housing market
South China Morning Post, 30-Aug-2018
He writes: "The government could decide how big flats should be, how many should be public housing, or how much the private ones should cost." That's central planning at its worst. Why not just supply land, provide means-tested public rental vouchers to those in need, and let the free market work for everyone else? See our article "HK Government invasion of the housing market", 2-Jul-2018.

Memorial Park Hong Kong Ltd v Secretary for Justice
HK Court of First Instance, 30-Aug-2018
The private columbarium is held in breach of lease provisions prohibiting the storage of human remains and the sub-letting of niches. It is ordered to refund its customers (or presumably, their estates, if the customer has been reduced to ashes).

And much more besides...
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