The troubled Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange looks unlikely to be back in business any time soon. With regulators and the Hong Kong police opening separate investigations – followed quickly by three arrests on Tuesday night – the fledgling futures exchange may have done itself irreparable damage. Hong Kong’s financial sector will be very keen indeed to ensure the damage is restricted to HKMEx itself. Continue reading »
The China Food and Drug Administration has promised to get tough on health foods before, with little result. This time, it seems, it is serious.
The recently-reformed CFDA has promised a five-month campaign from May to September to crack down on illegal activity in the health food industry, part of a broader drive by authorities to stamp out corruption and unethical business practices. Continue reading »
Algos – those complicated and increasing popular beasts – have proved a headache for financial regulators the world over.
India’s financial market regulator is trying to bring them further under control. As of May 27, algorithmic trading systems in the country will be audited every six months and stock exchanges will have powers to suspend and penalise traders who don’t take action to ensure their systems comply with requirements. Continue reading »
The sudden blow-up of the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx) not only represents the collapse of a commercial proposition. It is also a warning call to Hong Kong’s ambition to develop itself as a commodities trading centre. Continue reading »
Even in China, David sometimes beats Goliath – though it’s sometimes hard to be sure.
This week, residents of Songjiang – a suburb of Shanghai which has gained fame around the world for having over 10,000 dead pigs floating in its water supply – found that though they could not vanquish the porcine invader, they had scared away an intruder from the corporate world. Shanghai Guoxuan High-Tech Power Energy company said it was abandoning plans for a battery factory in Songjiang, after residents protested on the streets and on the internet against it. Continue reading »
Where can investors seek compensation in China if they think they have been cheated in a public stock offering?
Until now it’s been the company itself or its controlling shareholders. But in the case of aggrieved investors in Wanfu Biotechnology (Hunan) Agricultural Development the authorities have created a new option – the sponsoring broker. Continue reading »
Chinese people are used to hearing about the extraordinary benefits enjoyed by employees of big state-owned enterprises. But the size and scope of such benefits still delivered a shock when the National Audit Office released its annual reports on 10 SOEs and further exposed the extent of the problem.
Among the 10 were China Mobile, China Huaneng Group, China Publishing Group and other SOEs and, notably, their subsidiaries. They were found to have violated financial regulations by offering staff a variety of “invisible benefits”, according to audit reports for 2012 on the NAO’s website. Continue reading »
The Indian government has for some time been clamping down on tax evasion by big multinationals, chasing up on everything from fictional factories to complicated accounting tricks as it tries to shore up the country’s troubled finances.
Now it’s BMW’s turn under the lens. The German car maker is under investigation after reports that it owes import duties of as much as $120m. Continue reading »
When a big deal falls apart, finger-pointing is rarely far behind.
But in the case of the failed bid by Qatari government-backed QInvest to create a joint venture with Egyptian investment-bank EFG-Hermes, Egypt’s market regulator certainly has a thing or two to learn about tact. Continue reading »
By Graham Stack of bne
TVi, a Ukrainian television channel seen as a last bastion for opposition voices and critical investigative reporting, has fallen victim to a murky hostile takeover that it is feared may lead to its muzzling. Continue reading »
Tens of millions of Thai baht worth of stock trades later, the shoe has finally dropped: the Stock Exchange of Thailand is launching a probe into share price movements of cash-and-carry retailer Siam Makro ahead of Monday’s $6.6bn takeover offer by CP All, the country’s biggest convenience store operator.
As beyondbrics noted, the market was buzzing with rumours for weeks before the announcement. Continue reading »
When is a new policy not a new policy? When it’s introduced by the Indonesian government, which has a tendency to rush out new measures with minimal consultation, sparking protests from those affected and eventually leading officials to backtrack with all the elegance of Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk. Continue reading »
After coming out on top against Heritage Oil in a tax appeal tribunal at home, the Ugandan Revenue Authority claims to be winning the away leg in London as it chases the Jersey-based company for a tax bill of $435m.
Heritage disputes the claim, and says the arbitration is still at a preliminary phase. A swift conclusion seems unlikely, but the case signals a determination on the part of the Ugandan government to ensure it gets a cut of the spoils in its nascent oil industry, and underlines the risks facing investors.
Continue reading »
Ding, ding, ding. Get ready to rumble.
Sir Richard Branson, the airline to mobile phone billionaire, has landed in Colombia with the launch on Wednesday of his Virgin Mobile services in the country.
The move will pit Sir Richard against Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man and who through his flagship company, América Móvil, dominates the telecoms sector in Latin America. Continue reading »