HKMEx ordered to be wound up in face of HK$89m claims

Creditors turn down repayment plan for one-third of debt

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 April, 2014, 10:53am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 April, 2014, 4:53pm


Troubled Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx) was ordered to be wound up this morning after the creditors refused to accept the company’s new repayment plan.

The legal representative of the HKMEx informed the Court of First Instance that a prospective investor Huang Chun-sheng was willing to invest in the company and was willing to pay for one-third of the debts raised by the creditors.

However, petitioner Andrew Carter, a former director of technology of the company, and three other supporting creditors did not find the suggestion attractive, the court heard. The other creditors include Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company and Equinix Hong Kong.

Judge Jonathan Russell Harris said the company failed to show that it could make full payments to creditors and the creditors refused to accept the partial payment. “I therefore made the winding up order,” he said.

Carter filed the winding-up petition against the company in January this year. He claimed the company failed to pay him his salary of HK$1.414 million.

The HKMEx was founded and headed by former Executive Council member and Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s aide Barry Cheung Chun-yuen. Cheung quit all his public posts after HKMEx was embroiled in financial problems and legal troubles.

Apart from Carter’s claim, the HKMEx has faced a number of civil actions over loans, bills and rent totaling more than HK$89 million since June last year.

Previous media reports revealed that in October, Carter won a HK$1.4 million claim against the HKMEx before the Labour Tribunal for unpaid wages. The judgment was entered against the HKMEx in its absence. Carter, a graduate of the University of Cambridge, worked at the HKMEx between 2010 and last year.

Meanwhile, another company has filed a claim for an unspecified amount against the HKMEx with the District Court.

Intuition Publishing says in a court document that the money was owed for services provided to the HKMEx under a contract dated May 21, 2011.

In November, the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority filed a claim against the HKMEx for allegedly failing to pay HK$102,799 to the fund.

In October, the HKMEx staved off eviction from its offices in Cyberport by paying outstanding rent of up to HK$6 million.