Shareholders worry over mental health of Artini China's founder

Chairman is in hospital for psychiatric treatment and business is as usual, says wife and chief executive who has filed for divorce

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2012, 2:22am

Shareholders of Artini China have expressed their concern about the mental health of the fashion jewellery maker's founding chairman, Tse Chiu-kwan, who is in psychiatric care at Kowloon Hospital.

The concerns were expressed by a number of shareholders attending Artini's annual general meeting yesterday at the company's head office in Hung Hom.

Tse's wife, Yip Ying-kam, the chief executive of Artini, issued a statement last Friday confirming that he was receiving psychiatric treatment at the hospital but denied some media reports that she had forced him to check into the hospital for treatment.

Yip said two doctors at the hospital had determined Tse should be warded.

She also said she had filed for divorce, and as part of the divorce proceedings, Tse was ordered by the court not to sell or pledge his shares in Artini without the consent of his wife or the court.

"Mr Tse is not able to sign any legal documents in his current mental status. As such, anyone who claims to speak or write on behalf of Mr Tse is suspicious," she said in the statement.

Last week, Tse, through his lawyer, wrote to the stock exchange to request a halt in the trading of the company's shares and also to stop it from proceeding with its annual general meeting. The stock has continued to trade, and the meeting went ahead yesterday on schedule.

"Mrs Tse and other directors told shareholders that the business was running as usual. I hope that is the case as I have more than 100,000 shares in the company," said a shareholder who attended the meeting.

Rachel Cham Ka-po, an assistant to the company secretary, said other shareholders voiced similar concerns during the meeting, which was not open to the media.

"Mr Tse is still in hospital receiving treatment. We cannot give more details because of privacy issues. But we assure shareholders that under the leadership of Mrs Tse, the company is running its business as usual," Cham said.

Tse and Yip co-founded Artini, which makes and retails fashion jewellery, accessories and gift items in Hong Kong and on the mainland, in 1992.

On July 29, Artini filed a notice with the stock exchange to declare that it had suspended Tse from duty after he failed to contact the company's management for 10 days.

Yip, who is also vice-chairman and chief operating officer, took over management responsibility.

In a subsequent filing on August 9, Artini said Tse had been detained by police in Shenzhen on suspicion of a drug-related offence and then released on bail.