News

A special message from our Founder
vnintl.com, 8-Jun-2020
Unfortunately, there are going to be some changes around here.
Court fines Mr Chong Kin Ting HK$8k for unlicensed dealing and asset management
SFC, 4-Jun-2020
His company promised 2 investors a 5% monthly return trading futures contracts. They lost about 60% of their $500k investment.
SFC petitions to wind up Combest (8190)
SFC, 21-May-2020
At last, some real action. Webb-site filed a detailed complaint on this matter with the SFC on 21-Dec-2017. The SFC now alleges over-priced acquisitions identified in our complaint. The sellers were BVI companies the owners of which were not disclosed. The SFC alleges 2 directors and a suspected shadow director, one Mr Ng Kwok Fai, caused losses of HK$293m to Combest. Notably the SFC seeks a winding-up rather than just compensatory orders. They should do this more often - many other companies suspended by the SFC, including Lerado (1225) are in such limbo.
SFC obtains disqualification orders against ex-directors of EganaGoldpfeilEgana and Upbest
SFC, 11-May-2020
Almost 13 years after Webb-site blew the whistle on this fraudulent firm, which promptly collapsed, 3 of the culprits are banned as directors for 6-9 years. No compensation order is made. We remain surprised that no criminal charges were made.
Independent shareholders veto 2:1 rights issue at Neway (0055)
Company announcement, 4-May-2020
Good to see. Since 13-Jul-2018, "whitewash waivers" under the Takeovers Code require a 75% approval, to allow someone to take control without making a general offer. The vote was only 73.23% in favour, so it failed. Every vote counts!
Government misled LegCo over COVID-19 broker handout
vnintl.com, 1-May-2020
Applying to the Finance Committee, the Government made claims which it knew or should have known were false and misleading. It was either lying or reckless. Webb-site tells you the truth.
Union Medical Healthcare (2138) issues shares to Champion REIT (2778)Wrong turn for REITs
Company announcement, 29-Apr-2020
Instead of 5 months' rent from March to July 2020, the REIT gets 0.812% of its tenant's enlarged shares at $4.20 per share, valued at HK$33.9m. In our view, REITs should not be investing in the stock market, as we said when we objected to amending the Code on REITs to allow this in 2014. The SFC went ahead and did it anyway.

Our stories

A special message from our Founder
Unfortunately, there are going to be some changes around here. (8-Jun-2020)
Non-dispersable gatherings
We hereby "sternly clarify" that the Police and Secretary for Justice are wrong to claim that groups of 4 standing more than 1.5 metres apart constitute a single gathering if they have a common purpose. The Group Gathering Regulation allows for multiple, non-dispersable gatherings and contain no reference to the purpose of participants. We also show how to optimise use of available space. (28-Apr-2020)
COVID-19: where do we go from here?
HK is essentially clean: data indicate the latest community transmission was 24 days ago. A potential travel network of clean quarantined countries is emerging, but many others are pursuing a mitigation approach, flattening the curve but leading to the likely premature death of 0.5% of their populations unless interrupted by a vaccine or treatment. We find lessons to be learned from HK's early mistakes. HK should maintain its quarantine and its people should now be free to enjoy their city. (27-Apr-2020)
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)
HK Government has no power to suspend school classes
As class suspensions drag into a third month, we look at who exactly is responsible. Surprise: it's not the Government, which can only advise, and it's now time for schools and their governing bodies to take the lead and learn from the parallel case of Singapore, where schools have remained open without causing an outbreak. We also call on HK to ban non-resident arrivals, and look at what other countries must do, or suffer, to get COVID-19 under control. (22-Mar-2020)
Carrie Lam risks international travel ban on HK residents
Once again Mrs Lam is putting "One Country" ahead of "Two Systems". By keeping a porous border while imposing an unprecedented lockdown within HK, we risk an escalation of confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV and a consequent inclusion in the entry bans now imposed by Singapore and USA which other countries are likely to follow. Mrs Lam, stand up for Hong Kong. (1-Feb-2020)
Getting to 601: How Beijing controls the HK Chief Executive election
Carrie Lam continues to peddle the lie that the Chief Executive Election Committee is "broadly representative", often unchallenged by foreign media. We explain exactly how it is rigged, and how with enough political courage, she could unrig it and introduce democracy through local legislation, without Beijing's approval. (28-Jan-2020)
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)
Pop goes the ArtGo bubbleLose your marbles
It took them a while, but MSCI now says "Following further analysis and feedback from market participants on investability", ArtGo (3313) will not go into the MSCI index. The stock is down 98% as we write. Our bubble warning on 15-Sep-2019 is proven correct. (21-Nov-2019)
Judge takes aim at comments by Vice Premier
In continuing the injunction against doxxing with an exception for legitimate news activity, Justice Russell Coleman makes interesting comments on the role of the judiciary and the need for a political solution to the social unrest, which is beyond the scope of the courts. (11-Nov-2019)
Facilitating shareholder activism in Asia
Webb-site founder David Webb presented at the PNB Corporate Summit in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. In the opening address, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad declared that "Government has no business to be in business". That's encouraging, if it means that Malaysia will sell off Government-Linked Companies in a wave of public offers, harnessing market forces to boost growth and shared prosperity. (31-Oct-2019)
Does your candidate live where you do?
A knee-jerk amendment to the laws on nomination of DC and LegCo candidates goes too far by removing your right to know whether the candidate even lives in your constituency and/or District. We call on LegCo to amend the subsidiary legislation. (18-Oct-2019)
ERO: one judicial review, two judges
Webb-site has learned that in a very rare move, the Chief Justice has directed that 2 judges sit together in the Court of First Instance to hear the judicial review of the Chief Executive's use of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance. (16-Oct-2019)

Other news

Court fines Mr Chong Kin Ting HK$8k for unlicensed dealing and asset management
SFC, 4-Jun-2020
His company promised 2 investors a 5% monthly return trading futures contracts. They lost about 60% of their $500k investment.
SFC petitions to wind up Combest (8190)
SFC, 21-May-2020
At last, some real action. Webb-site filed a detailed complaint on this matter with the SFC on 21-Dec-2017. The SFC now alleges over-priced acquisitions identified in our complaint. The sellers were BVI companies the owners of which were not disclosed. The SFC alleges 2 directors and a suspected shadow director, one Mr Ng Kwok Fai, caused losses of HK$293m to Combest. Notably the SFC seeks a winding-up rather than just compensatory orders. They should do this more often - many other companies suspended by the SFC, including Lerado (1225) are in such limbo.
SFC obtains disqualification orders against ex-directors of EganaGoldpfeilEgana and Upbest
SFC, 11-May-2020
Almost 13 years after Webb-site blew the whistle on this fraudulent firm, which promptly collapsed, 3 of the culprits are banned as directors for 6-9 years. No compensation order is made. We remain surprised that no criminal charges were made.
Previously on vnintl.com
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