Conflict of interest fears rejected

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 February, 2008, 12:00am

Businessman Wilfred Wong Ying-wai yesterday rejected that any conflict of interest existed in former secretary for economic development and labour Stephen Ip Shu-kwan taking a role as a director of his new mainland investment company.

Mr Ip was cleared by a government advisory committee to take up the appointment as a non-executive director at Yangtze China Investment this week after he was left out of the cabinet reshuffle in July.

Former government officials are supposed to wait at least a year before taking up commercial positions to avoid potential conflicts of interest unless cleared by the committee.

Mr Wong, who is also the chief of the Mission Hills Group and a former senior government official, supported the idea of Mr Ip joining the company. 'First, he would be a non-executive director; second, all investments are on the mainland; third, the company will be London-listed in the future,' he said.

Mr Ip's experience would help ensure good corporate governance for Yangtze China Investments to protect shareholder's interests, said Mr Wong, who is also a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress.