Lai See

Tax consultant Annells denied bail in High Court

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 April, 2014, 1:15am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 October, 2015, 7:19pm

Tax consultant Deborah Annells appeared in the High Court on Thursday seeking bail. This was refused by Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung, and she was remanded in custody until June 6. Annells had been remanded in custody by Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai on April 15 at Eastern Magistrates' Courts on a charge of doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice. This related to using a false document to obtain a variation of bail at a court hearing on April 11. She also faced one count of fraud where she attempted to use the same false document to rent premises at Sea Bird House.

Annells is the founder and chief executive of AzureTax, which specialises in arranging the tax affairs of expatriates in Hong Kong. This sometimes involves setting up trust funds. In court appearances in November last year and in February this year, she was charged with 55 counts of theft and fraud involving more than HK$36 million.


LME night

To the LME Asia Dinner on Thursday night, one of the highlights of what is mysteriously called LME Week Asia even though it is actually a two-day event. About 1,400 guests turned up for dinner, much to the delight of the host, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the relatively new owner of the London Metal Exchange, since this was well up on last year's 800 guests.

It was a more subdued affair than the inaugural Asia dinner last year when HKEx's mercurial chief executive, Charles Li Xiaojia, appeared on the stage in a curious costume that we had to be told represented David Beckham. To give him credit, he was trying to bridge the gap between Asia and London. Traders-football-Beckham - geddit? This year's event quietly ticked over to James Bond-themed music together with alluring dancers. But Li just had to join in on stage for the final dance number. You can't keep a good man down.


A Noble director

The former chairman of Swire Pacific, Christopher Pratt, is to become an independent non-executive director of bulk commodities trading company Noble from June 3. Noting Pratt's 35-year career in Asia, Noble chairman Richard Elman said: "He brings with him a unique business perspective, which will undoubtedly be of immense value to us as we move to develop the group further."

Pratt joins the 12-person board, which comprises three executive directors, two non-executive directors and seven independent non-executive directors, of whom one is a woman.


Top shop

A currency exchange dealer in Causeway Bay has accepted a 44 per cent increase in the renewal of the tenancy agreement, making it Hong Kong's most expensive rented shop on a per-square-foot basis. The tenant is paying HK$260,000 a month for a 50 sqft shop in Cannon Street, or HK$5,200 per square foot, according to the Hong Kong Economic Times.


Why no Wi-fi?

It seems that although the mainland's premier trade show, the Canton Fair, was all about moving up the value chain, one aspect of the show left exhibitors and journalists distinctly underwhelmed. "The entire complex of the Canton Fair is covered by Wi-fi; users can choose free Wi-fi access with limited three hours or paid access with unlimited time," a leaflet said. In the event, none of it worked. It was either so slow it was useless or did not work at all, much to the frustration of traders trying to show customers their websites and journalists whose glowing accounts of the show were stillborn.


Ups and downs

Being an entrepreneur can be a topsy-turvy affair with some good years followed by bad ones. Take the case of Elon Musk, chief executive of electric-car manufacturer Tesla Motors. In 2012, he received total compensation of US$78.2 million, while last year his compensation was just under US$70,000, Bloomberg reports. His 2012 compensation was intended as compensation over a 10-year term, based on achieving specific goals relating to market capitalisation. Tesla's share price has soared 619 per cent in the 12 months to February this year, which is by far the best performance of any international carmaker over the past 20 years.