The Chinachem Charitable Foundation, set up by late tycoon Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum, is believed to have filed an appeal against a High Court ruling that it should hold her HK$83 billion estate in trust rather than as an absolute beneficiary under her will.
As a trustee, the foundation must carry out terms of Wang's will, including performing charitable works, rather than receive the estate as a gift free of obligations. It will have to carry out the terms, no more and no less.
The foundation had contended it was an absolute beneficiary and could decide on its own how to use the funds. It filed an appeal against the earlier court ruling yesterday, a source familiar with the matter said.
Under Wang's will, the foundation is the sole owner of the Chinachem Group, one of the city's largest private property developers. As well, it is to set up a Chinese Prize that resembles the Nobel Prize.
Apart from charitable work, the foundation was to provide for Wang's parents-in-law, but both died in 2010. It should pay for the living and medical expenses of her sister-in-law, Wang Teh-hwa, and look after her children. If necessary, it should also look after the three other siblings of Nina Wang's husband Teddy Wang Teh-huei and pay for their children's education.
Nina Wang also wanted to form a managing organisation to oversee the foundation, comprising the UN secretary general, Chinese premier and Hong Kong's chief executive.
Her siblings - brother Kung Yan-sum, and sisters Molly Gong Chung-sum and Kung Yan-sum - and two long-term Chinachem employees are the governors of the foundation.
Ringo Wong Lai-chuen, a personal assistant of Nina Wang for two decades, earlier welcomed the court judgment and said it offered the best way to do charitable activities. He openly criticised the foundation's operation and management.