Monday 20th April 2020

Dear Reader,

CPG interference: HK's Ministry of Truth on Article 22
In an act straight out of George Orwell's 1984, the HK Govt's news agency has been caught modifying and backdating a press release to comply with the Central People's Government's Liaison Office view that it is not a CPG department and not subject to Article 22 of the Basic Law. It actually makes no difference: if the CPG itself interferes in matters which are within HK's autonomy under the Basic Law, then it undermines "Two Systems". (20-Apr-2020)

HK employers must eat this free lunch
An economically illiterate leadership has decided to spray HK$80bn at HK's economy, benefitting employers who had no intention of making lay-offs, by paying the firms up to HK$54k per job. Some firms have even prospered during COVID-19. It's a wasteful way to return hoarded reserves to the economy, but all companies now have a legal duty to shareholders to eat this free lunch. They should resist any Government pressure to not collect it. (9-Apr-2020)

Hendrick Lui Chi Hang v Independent Police Complaints Council
HK Court of First Instance, 16-Apr-2020
The application for judicial review against the IPCC conducting a fact-finding study of public order events is dismissed. Interestingly, the case was heard using video-conferencing by agreement with the parties, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Giles Wong v Simon Christopher Donowho & Walter Ng Man Fung
HK Court of First Instance, 16-Apr-2020
Mr Wong's claim for personal injury is dismissed. He appears to be the neighbour from hell. He mounted 14 speakers within inches of his ceiling in F4, Pearl Gardens, Conduit Rd and blasted the defendant neighbours in F5 and F6 with loud music 16 hours a day, Cross-examined, he admitted that he wanted to make life a misery for his neighbours. He claimed that one night when they switched off the power, he tripped and fell and fractured his spine. Even his own expert witness agreed that was an old injury.

Hong Kong judges battle Beijing over rule of law as pandemic chills protestsStatement by Chief Justice
Reuters, 14-Apr-2020
In our view, the subsequent statement by the Chief Justice is not inconsistent with the article.

24 legislators v CE in Council & others
HK Court of Appeal, 9-Apr-2020
The CA overturns the CFI and rules that the Emergency Regulations Ordinance is constitutional. It also rules that the anti-mask regulation made under the ERO is constitutional for unauthorized assemblies, but it upholds the CFI's ruling that the regulation is unconstitutional in the case of authorized meetings and marches. We expect both sides to go the the Court of Final Appeal.

SFC fines HSBC HK$3.5m for breaches over interest payments to managed funds
SFC, 7-Apr-2020
For 6 years from 2010-2016, in 53 funds, it did not pay a fair rate of interest on the cash deposited by the funds with the bank.

Webb on CNBC re HSBC dividend cancellation
CNBC, 7-Apr-2020

Ex-FC of SE Asia Ppt (0252) jailed for 43 months for H$K2.6m bribery & fraud
ICAC, 3-Apr-2020

SFC issues restriction notice to Agg. Asset Management Ltd
SFC, 3-Apr-2020
"because of doubts over Agg’s reliability, integrity, and ability to carry on regulated activities competently, honestly and fairly, and hence, its fitness and properness to remain licensed."

Lew Mon Hung stripped of his Bronze Bauhinia Star
HK Gazette, 3-Apr-2020
His final appeal against conviction was dismissed by the Court of Final Appeal on 11-Jun-2019. His BBS was awarded by CE Donald Tsang on 1-Jul-2010.

Eugene Yeoh Kim Loong, ex-HKEX, and Richard Lum Chor Wah, charged with bribery and MIPO over IPO applicationsMr Lum's directorships
ICAC, 25-Mar-2020
One IPO is named: Shen You (8377). That was sponsored by Huabang Corporate Finance Ltd. Who knew? Regarding Mr Lum, he's been a director of 12 HK-listed companies at various times since 1991. Our data show that on average, shares of those companies during his tenure under-performed the market by 52.5% per year. He resigned from the last 2 on 19-Sep-2019 to "devote more time to his personal commitments"

SFC bans Mo Shau Wah for life
SFC, 23-Mar-2020
She plundered HK$110.2m worth of shares from China Pacific Securities over a 7-year period, aided by a settlement clerk who tampered with the records. Both were jailed. It cost the brokerage HK$156m to buy the shares back and make the clients whole.

Competition Commission takes Textbook cartel case to Competition Tribunal
HK Competition Commission, 20-Mar-2020
We note that one of the defendants, Mr Hui Chiu Ming, has been a Chief Executive Election Committee member since 2000, for the publishing sub-sub-sector.

And much more besides...
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David M. Webb