Wednesday 17th March 2010
We will close the opinion poll on short position disclosures at 6pm on Friday. Today we are launching a new opinion poll on class action rights for Hong Kong. Please vote! Your PIN is at the top of this e-mail. Total results will be sent to the Law Reform Commission.
Class actions for HK
In a potentially huge step forward for access to justice, the Law Reform Commission proposes a class action system for HK. The key issue is litigation funding. Rather than a government-sponsored gatekeeper fund, we need a free-market approach, with contingent legal fees and the abolition of archaic laws against champerty and maintenance, to allow self-funded lawyers and third party funders to bear the risks of loser-pays-costs. Take our opinion poll and tell them what you think!
Proposed law sells HK short
If the Government consulted the public on a speed limit of 50km/h, then set it at 4km/h, wouldn't you wonder why? That's what the SFC has done after a consultation which from the outset was a solution in search of a non-existent problem. We call on the SFC to withdraw or amend its proposed filing requirements for 0.02% short positions and to focus with Government on filling the gap in the existing law by requiring public disclosure of short positions, including derivatives, at the same level as long positions, currently 5%. What do you think? Take our poll! (7-Mar-10)
Larvotto - do you
know the boatyard?
We probe the history of the SHKP/Kerry/Paliburg Larvotto, a luxury industrial-cum-residential project overlooking a typhoon shelter but behind boatyards and sawmills, which are noisy enough for the Environmental Protection Department to object to the Town Planning Board's approval, as minutes reveal. "Non-openable windows" were cited as a mitigating measure. Yours for just HK$25k/psf - can you see the bubble? (3-Mar-10)
HK's stamp duty
We look at the HK Government's opium-like addiction to stamp duty revenues, which have more than quintupled in 7 years. The budget asks for another fix. Stamp duty is sand in the wheels of the economy, distorting economic decisions and reducing economic output. It should be abolished rather than increased further. Higher stamp duty does not improve property affordability. HK needs a root-and-branch review of taxation to refocus on fair taxation of GDP rather than one-off measures and distortive policies. (2-Mar-10)
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