• Sun
  • Aug 31, 2014
  • Updated: 3:33am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 May, 2013, 3:06am

Superman Li hits Kryptonite in hotel deal

Many people think it took the Securities and Futures Commission to put the fear of God into Cheung Kong and force it to cancel its dodgy sales of hotel suites at Apex Horizon. I rather think we have the cargo dockers to thank.

Mind you, I am not belittling the commission, one of the few regulators in Hong Kong that is actually enforcing the rules. But visions of irate suite buyers in a repeat of the dockers camping outside the Cheung Kong Center in Central - or worse, at Li Ka-shing's mega house in Deep Water Bay - probably haunt his minions.

Cheung Kong's executive director and Li's right-hand man, Justin Chiu Kwok-hung, said the developer did nothing wrong. But I suppose he concluded it wasn't worth fighting over principles.

In principle, there is nothing wrong with selling hotel rooms as property. But it's so new in Hong Kong that many buyers are not sure what they are buying and some banks don't know if they should make a loan or a mortgage and how to value the property.

All told, the property giant will have to return HK$1.4 billion raised in February by selling 360 hotel units at the Kwai Chung project - and then some.

Besides returning the deposits, it will pay buyers 2 per cent per annum interest above the prime rate from the time of the payment to the end of this month. It will also have to give them HK$10,000 in legal and other expenses.

An SFC probe found that the sales amounted to a collective investment scheme (CIS) involving small investors.

Under the law, the developer must first seek SFC approval for promotional documents to make sure all the investment characteristics and risks are publicised before sales.

Because the hotel is not operated by the buyers themselves but the hotel operator, the scheme fits the definition of a CIS. The SFC was ready to take Cheung Kong to court but the latter has relented.

You would think Cheung Kong's highly paid lawyers and the too-clever-by-half Chiu would have covered all the angles. Well, there is always something to be overlooked.

Superman Li is sadly no longer the folk hero he once was and the once-feared tycoon can no longer take the indulgence of Hong Kong society for granted.

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the sun also rises
not a bad idea to have the date that Li dies to be a public holiday so that most Hongkongers can celebrate every year as a festival---------the day that an over-greedy tycoon sees his ancestors ! Not the Buddha though Li is said to be a devout Buddhist who generously donated HK$1 billion in building the Guan Yin Statue in Tai Po---to gain fame again ? Probably is !
wwong888
the day li ka shing dies should be made a public holiday, so we can all celebrate
chaz_hen
Some "c*h*i*n*k*s" in Superman's armour?
impala
If I would have been the SFC, and upon hearing Justin Chiu Kwok-hung maintaining that CK 'did nothing wrong,' I would have cancelled the deal and prosecuted until my dying breath.

Such stunning arrogance. Either you did something wrong, even just by oversight and unintentionally, and you therefore apologise and reach a settlement, compensating those you wronged. Or you didn't do anything wrong, and then you owe it to your shareholders as well as to those who bought your flats to defend yourself against false accusations. This 'we did nothing wrong but care so much about social harmony that we do this out of the goodness of your hearts' is infuriating. You had hundreds of dockworkers striking outside your HQ because they were being humiliated on a daily basis by your company. How is that for social harmony?
the sun also rises
it is never as Chiu Kwok-hung, right-handed man of Li Ka-shing , said :to have peace is paramount, but instead,feaingr that the case will be taken to court by the Securities and Futures Commission (which is located at 25th floor of Cheung Kong Centre in Central) that the Li family agrees to pay back the money they collected from the ignorant/innocent small investors ( ironically quite a lot of them are Cheung Kongs' senior employees) plus interests and legal fees incurred .But how about the loss of the buyers ? They can still sue Cheung Kong for violating the sale agreements and raise lawsuits against this tycoon if they dare ! Right ? Fearing that the small investors will camp outside Cheung Kong Centre (like the dockers once did) or even his grand mansion in Deep Water Bay maybe another worry of this super-rich family !
the sun also rises
this superman,Li ...has now become a shame /laughing stock in our society, at least in the eyes of the general public who contribute to his huge wealth by shopping at his Park 'n Shops, Watsons, the Fortress appliances,Hong Kong Electric and his flagship,Cheung Kong Holdings.This super-old guy now depends on his lusty and mean elder son and trust his words as well--------never give in earning even a cent while donating huge sums to charities to earn good fame (which no longer exists as time passes).Maybe he will be ashamed to meet his late dad ( a village teacher) once he passes away and goes to the heaven/underworld to meet him for all he has done in his lifetime on earth.Right ? Boycotting patronizing his goods and services as much as possible is the only way we Hongkongers can cope with this pair (father and son) of mean and miserly guys !
xiaoblueleaf
Every dollar one spends in Hong Kong, 30-40 cents go to K S Li and other property tycoons while most common folks and SMEs struggle to survive.This is capitalism at its worst !
aplucky1
stop calling this vile piece of excrement SUPERMAN
superman defended the weak
li ka S H I T steals from the weak via his monopolies
Byebye
Agreed, please stop calling him Superman.
johnyuan
The reversal of Cheung Kong’s fearless capitalism that actually halted by government in the hotel deal may signal a turning point that law and order must rule in business as well in Hong Kong. I can’t say the same in mainland at least what expires before the new administration that fearless capitalism was extreme and ran everywhere by anyone in China. Perhaps, there is more in the turning point excised by the SFC. Why it didn’t stop Cheung Kong in selling the hotel rooms to individual when clearly there is law against it? And why Cheung Kong’s lawyer(s) had overlooked the obvious? And where are all the public financial security experts including the columnists of SCMP? They all let LKS parading in town naked in paddling those hotel rooms. When comes to property, Hong Kong people becomes emotional, irrational and fearless. CY Leung may take credit in this new beginning to undo the property culture in Hong Kong. Not the dockworker’s strike.
 
 
 
 
 

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