A company chairman paid $200,000 to former stock exchange vice-chairman Chen Po-sum's 90-year-old maid as a 'go between' fee for the sale of three stock exchange seats, a court heard yesterday. Shing On Securities chairman Yip Yuk-tsun wanted to sell his three A-share exchange seats in the spring of 1994 when he closed his business and emigrated to Canada. Testifying under immunity on a video-tape made last week in Toronto, the jury heard Chen - an old friend of Mr Yip's - asked him whether he would 'be willing to pay $100,000 . . . to a go-between for helping me sell my seats'. The three Shing On seats were sold for $29.1 million to Emperor Securities on May 4, 1994. 'I thanked her for getting me a go-between and for having successfully sold my seats in such a short time,' Mr Yip said. 'I was so happy I decided to add another $100,000 - a total of $200,000 - and asked her to give it to the go-between. 'She said I was very generous and she thanked me for the other person.' The commission cheque was made out to the go-between, Tse Ah-yee, a 90-year-old housekeeper for Chen, who left Hong Kong for China in 1986, eight years before the sale of the seats took place. Chen is facing eight bribery charges - which she denies - in relation to the sale of floor seats in 1993 and 1994. Chen, 65, allegedly solicited and accepted $800,000 for the transfer of three A shares from Shing On to Emperor Securities. It is also alleged Chen - the former convenor of the exchange's membership committee - received $800,000 for supporting a 1994 bid by Nomura Securities to buy a seat on the exchange from On Wah United Securities Co. Mr Yip said he considered the matter completed when he handed Chen the cheque on March 21 - weeks before the official approval by the stock exchange, the court heard. Mr Yip called Chen an old friend whom he trusted not to cheat him and called the $200,000 'trivial'. He said he did not expect her to use her position to influence the outcome of the transaction, because approval was 'a matter of course' for member firms. Before unloading his seats, Mr Yip set three conditions for the sale. The seats had to be sold as a package at $10 million each. 'But the last and most important one, I've got to have a buyer already being a member of the stock exchange,' Mr Yip said. 'If a buyer is already a member of the exchange . . . the degree of examination is not that intense,' he said. Chen was the last of eight to 10 people who had approached him to help find a buyer and he did not consider the approach 'to be sinister in any way'. 'She said she was not going to be a middle person. She said there was a middle person,' Mr Yip said.