Rafael Hui

Get a piece of Hong Kong history at auction of Rafael Hui’s personal collection

Auction of items that used to belong to former chief secretary believed to be last of series and is aimed at offsetting his HK$75m debt

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 August, 2016, 5:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 August, 2016, 10:54pm

Official mementoes from Hong Kong’s colonial era and the period of the city’s return to China in 1997 are now up for grabs in an auction to offset former top official Rafael Hui Si-yan’s reported debts of HK$75 million.

These items, which once belonged to Hui, include Chinese paintings, sculptures, collectible banknotes, stamps and souvenirs. The latest auction comes after two separate public tenders for part of Hui's private collection were sold for an unknown amount last year.

JLA Asia, one of the trustees handling the property of the bankrupt and jailed former chief secretary, did not give an estimate of how much the current lot of 79 pieces could fetch.

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Starting on Friday, international and local collectors are able to bid for a rare piece of official memorabilia commemorating the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on July 1, 1997.

Another piece celebrating the formation of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group, which discussed the arrangements for the handover of the city to China, is also available.

Other prominent collectables on the list include works of contemporary Chinese painters and memorable banknotes, such as a set issued by Standard Chartered Hong Kong in 2002.

Two coin shops approached by the Post said the set of bills, of various denominations, despite having the same last six digits in their serial number, seemed unlikely to fetch a high price.

JLA Asia manager Fiona Fok Yuk-ting said the pieces on sale would have no reserve price and that they would be sold to the highest bidders.

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Unlike The Beatles records and fine wine on offer at the previous auctions, the fresh batch of items could be sold individually, she added.

It is understood that 110,000 records, CDs and video discs previously in Hui's possession were sold as a single lot to a Taiwanese collector in January last year.

Hui’s wine collection was sold, also for an unspecified amount, in April last year.

Fok said the latest auction is believed to be the last of the series to be arranged for Hui's creditors, unless more valuables under his name can be found.

At least five banks have filed writs in an attempt to recover loans taken out by Hui. They include Chong Hing Bank which is seeking HK$9.8 million, Honour Finance seeking HK$3.16 million, Standard Chartered for HK$1.19 million and Hang Seng for HK$780,000.

Hui, who is serving time now, was arrested in March 2012 by the Independent Commission Against Corruption on suspicion of misconduct in public office. His trial – along with that of Sun Hung Kai Properties co-chairmen Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen – which opened in early June 2014, has since been called the most high-profile corruption trial in Hong Kong’s history.