Lai See

Development Secretary accused of libelling two students

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 February, 2014, 12:32am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 February, 2014, 12:32am

Our esteemed Development Secretary Paul Chan Mo-Po and his wife Freida Hui Po-ming were back in the High Court recently over an extraordinary defamation action.

The couple are being sued for libel by Carl Lu, a well-known businessman and member of the Chinese International School board of governors and his twin children Caitlin and Jonathan who, in 2011, were students at the school.

The latest court action relates to a decision by Mr Justice To J, on amendments to an action that was started in 2012. Court documents said that in November 2011 rumours were circulating among students of CIS and their parents that Jonathan was suspected of having cheated in a test, but got away with it because his father was a member of the board of governors.

The rumours were, according to the defendants, sparked by complaints made by two classmates.

Paul Chan and his wife, who at the time, had a daughter at the school, sent e-mails to parents about the incident which Carl and Jonathan Lu considered defamatory. Shortly afterwards the pair also sent e-mails about a similar incident involving Jonathan and Caitlin a year earlier, which were also considered defamatory.

On December 14, 2011, the judgment noted, "an anonymous e-mail purporting to be signed by 'CIS Parents' was received by the admission office of Harvard University. It contained statements that Jonathan 'has recently been caught cheating in his economics exam', that it was a 'repeated offence' and that he was not 'expelled or severely reprimanded' because his father is 'a member of CIS board of governors'".

The next day the CIS headmaster wrote to parents stating that the school management felt there were no grounds for considering Jonathan had cheated. On the same day Jonathan received an e-mail from Harvard University saying that his application had been deferred. It was subsequently rejected on April 2012.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory, aggravated and exemplary damages. The trial will start on September 14 this year and unusually, for a libel case, there will be a jury.


Top analysts

Asiamoney has announced its annual Brokers Poll - a survey of who are the best analysts and sales people in the region. The poll has been conducted for a number of years but for the 2013 version, the magazine hopes to sell the data behind the poll.

The full survey package is available for US$6,000 but specially tailored data sets can also be purchased.

HSBC had the most number of top 10-ranked analysts in the Asiamoney regional categories with 48, followed by CLSA with 42, USBS 26 and Bank of America Merrill Lynch 24.

The best economist in the region according to the survey was Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Ting Lu; best strategist was Christopher Wood, CLSA; and best quantitative/technical analyst was CLSA's Laurence Balanco.

There were some remarkable changes in rankings compared with previous years. Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Insurance analyst Charles Zhou leapt from 37 in 2012 to 10, in 2013. Ting Lu was ranked 17 last year. CLSA's conglomerate analysts Danie Schutte jumped from 10th last year to pole position in 2013.


Bond ranking excitement

There's excitement among some observers over the bond league tables so far this year. Asia Pacific (ex Japan) G3 Debt Capital Markets (DCM) bookrunner rankings are currently headed by Citi, followed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and HSBC. This compared with 2013 full-year rankings which were headed by JP Morgan, followed by Citi, and HSBC.

Meanwhile, the same category for Asia (ex-Japan) ranks Citi first, then HSBC and BAML. Last year and for some years previously this was won by HSBC, followed by Deutsche Bank and Citi.

For investment grade bonds in G3 currencies, UBS is top followed by HSBC and Barclays.

Last year's rankings were headed by Morgan Stanley and then Goldman Sachs and HSBC. In the same category for Asia (ex Japan), HSBC lead the rankings, followed by UBS and Barclays. HSBC was also ranked first last year followed by JP Morgan and Citi.


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