Monday 13th January 2020

Dear Reader,

Happy new decade! Webb-site has now been operating in 4 decades starting with the 1990s, exercising free speech while we can.

This year will see the "election" of a new Legislative Council - but it will still be a dysfunctional, rubber-stamp parliament unless the HK Government proposes local legislation to abolish corporate voting in the rotten borough Functional Constituencies, giving each employee a vote instead, something which many professionals including teachers, doctors, lawyers and accountants already enjoy. What kind of "World City" allows companies to pick legislators and elect its Chief Executive? Perhaps banks like HSBC and Standard Chartered, which control multiple corporate votes in the Finance, Insurance and Financial Services sectors, will get on the right side of history and advocate such change? It might be better for business than boarding up the branches. Or do they tremble in fear of Peking?

In the meantime, a new controversy awaits:

Your right to insult the national anthem
The HK Government is preparing to ignite fresh protests by resuming the Second Reading of the Bill, which must occur by July, or the bill lapses. Last night, it ridiculously claimed that the Bill is not a restriction of free speech. Of course it is. The only question is whether that is constitutional. (11-Jan-2020)

Webb on 'Backchat' re land, housing and Disneyland
RTHK, 8-Jan-2020

Ex-Estate Surveyor of HD and husband guilty of HK$4.9m housing allowance fraud
ICAC, 7-Jan-2020
Once again, the real question is why the Government pays different amounts to employees with the same skills and experience based on whether they rent a flat and whether their spouse has a housing allowance from his/her employer.

Susan Brown Clift v HK Cyberport Management Co Ltd
HK Court of First Instance, 6-Jan-2020
The widow of Mark Owen Clift, who was COO at the Cyberport when he died in 2017 of dilated cardiomyopathy, is claiming under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance that his death was caused by emotional stress from two previous slip-and-fall accidents at the property.

SFC fines RHB Securities Hong Kong Ltd HK$6.4mListings sponsored by RHB
SFC, 2-Jan-2020
One of the 4 matters involved was failure to fully disclose a listing sponsorship in a Nov-2015 research report on an unnamed client. We can tell you that the only listing sponsored by RHB Capital HK Ltd in 2015 was Clear Lift Holdings Ltd (now Hao Tian International Construction Investment Group Ltd, 1341.HK).

AV Concept (0595) "clarifies" shareholdings
Company announcement, 30-Dec-2019
Importantly, Chairman So Yuk Kwan increased his holding by 25m shares (3.23%) "in June 2017", when the shares were "held by a friend" on trust. This appears to breach the Creeper Rule of 2% per year, triggering a mandatory general offer at the highest price paid in the prior 6 months. It may relate to a disposal by Central Investments Ltd on 8-Jun-2017, at an undisclosed price. The adjusted highest known price paid by Mr So in the 6 months prior was $0.4917 ($0.59 before a bonus issue).

Censure of Hu Guo An, ex-ED of Future Bright Mining (2212)
SEHK, 30-Dec-2019
For dealing during the blackout period before the 2017 results. He's also an ED of Silk Road Energy Services (8250).

SFC censures CLSA, CITIC Securities Brokerage and Beijing Enterprises (0392) and various staff
SFC, 30-Dec-2019
For pre-arranging share buybacks and then passing them through the market, in effect preventing other shareholders from participating in the "on-market" buybacks.

HKICPA fines Gordon Chan Kwok Tung and his firm HK$80k
HKICPA, 24-Dec-2019
For bad audit work on 3 private companies, including another CPA firm, Stephen M.S. Lai & Co. CPA Ltd, run by Stephen Lai Man Shing.

SFC fines Adamas Asset Management (HK) Ltd HK$2.5m
SFC, 23-Dec-2019
For 339 late or incorrect disclosures of interests in 8 listed stocks.

Censure of Ding He Mining (0705) and all 3 remaining directors
SEHK, 20-Dec-2019
For failing to cooperate with an investigation by SEHK.

HKICPA fines Kwee Wei, Wong Sau Ling and KPMG (HK)
HKICPA, 20-Dec-2019
For bad audits of Modern Beauty Salon (0919) in 2014-2017.

HKICPA fines Ronald Yam Tak Fai, Chris Wong Wo Cheung and RSM HK
HKICPA, 20-Dec-2019
For bad audit work on Modern Beauty Salon (0919) in 2010-2012.

HKICPA bans May Chan Mei Mei and Ricky Ho Yiu Hang for 3 and 2 years, fines them and Asian Alliance (HK) CPA Ltd
HKICPA, 19-Dec-2019
For bad audits of Neo Telemedia (8167) in 2011 and 2012.

SFC bans ex-Chairman and ex-CFO of W. Falcon Asset Management for life and 3 years respectively
SFC, 17-Dec-2019

HK's richest family urges Govt to help its hotels
Bloomberg, 16-Dec-2019
"We really need it" says Adam Kwok, son of convicted felon Thomas Kwok. What we really need is for tycoons like him to give up corporate voting for seats in the Functional Constituencies and Election Committee - including hotels, real estate and transport, all of which have corporate voters controlled by his family. 1 worker, 1 vote. This simple step would democratise HK.

And much more besides...
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David M. Webb