Monday 12th April 2021
Sorry it's been 3 months since I summoned the energy to push out a newsletter, but here's a round-up of our articles published since then, including today's. A battle for transparency in the Companies Registry, that we thought was won in 2013, is now back. If you have a view on this, please drop an email to the LegCo Financial Affairs Panel at email@example.com.
Government misled LegCo over HKIDs
A quick Sunday search using a single popular name finds 8 pairs of matching masked HKIDs in the Companies Registry. There must be hundreds or thousands of other such pairs on other names - yet the Government claimed on Friday that it could only find 8 in the entire database. (12-Apr-2021)
inbound quarantine laws: dangerous, irrational and unconstitutional
We put our microscope on HK's inbound quarantine laws and find that the 21-day length of quarantine actually increases the risk to the community, Further, the ban on arrivals from 4 countries is irrational. Both fail to satisfy constitutional tests of proportionality. (16-Mar-2021)
Budget and HK's Road to Serfdom
The so-called "Consumption Voucher" will probably become another cash handout, a total of HK$108bn over 2 years - but that's not the point. HK's budget has long since deviated from the Basic Law requirement to keep the budget in line with Gross Domestic Product over time, having expanded by over a quarter since the 1997 Handover. HK is becoming a tax-and-spend interventionist economy, departing from the free-market principles at the root of its success. (26-Feb-2021)
GameStop game will stop
…and who will benefit when it does. (28-Jan-2021)
How HK's policies of pseudo-anonymity and deep under-pricing of metered parking have resulted in a half-baked not-very-smart upgrade to the system, launched yesterday. (19-Jan-2021)
IN OTHER NEWS
Arrest warrant issued
for Ms Zeng Lingxi
The alleged social media pump & dumper has put in some social distance and failed to appear in Court. The SFC has "credible information" that she left HK on 15-Nov-2020. According to an earlier announcement, she was not restricted from travelling but had to notify the SFC in advance of her travel plans.
Webb reappointed to
Takeovers Panel for 2 more years
They must be optimistic! He was first appointed in 2001 and became a Deputy Chairman in 2013. He's the 3rd-longest serving current member of the Panel.
Golik (1118) has been
"recently informed by Mr Lo", an INED, of his sanction by HKICPA | Resignation
Company announcement, 22-Mar-2021
This follows a complaint by Webb-site filed with SEHK on 18-Mar-2021 that Golik had failed to announce the sanction, presumably because he had not told them, over 5 months after it was handed down. Update, 26-Mar-2021: he's resigned.
Arts body 'may scrap
funding for law-breakers'
Better question: why are taxpayers paying artists, selected by the ADC, to produce works of art, thereby distorting the free market? Scrap the Arts Development Council, save over HK$226m per year of subventions, and let the market decide which arts are worth funding. Any time you insert a government body into the mix, you are bound to end up with these issues.
SFC fines Yardley
Securities HK$5m for AML breaches | Statement
of Disciplinary Action
This involve 2 clients between Feb-May-2016, and transfers to and from 3rd parties in the "casino and gaming industry", using Yardley as a conduit.
SFC obtains DQs
against ex-senior execs of Shandong Molong (0568) for faking accounts | Judgment
Justice Linda Chan criticises the SFC for (1) producing 3 alternative sets of admitted facts on the gravity of the wrongdoing before deciding on the most serious one (knowingly causing the earnings inflation); (2) failing to advance any mitigating factors; and (3) producing 10 bundles of documents that were not needed.
SFC petitions to wind
up Adamas Asset Management (HK) Ltd
The sole director, Paul Lincoln Heffner was reportedly found dead in his Tesla on 1-Jan-2021, with a bucket of burnt charcoal in the back seat. We note that the firm and its co-founder Barry Lau Wang Chi featured in articles we wrote about the Enigma Network. Mr Lau ceased to be a Responsible Officer of the firm on 30-Nov-2020.
"Backchat" re the Budget
And much more besides...
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David M. Webb