Former stock exchange vice-chairman Chen Po-sum has admitted she charged more to help Japanese broking giant Nomura Securities to find another floor seat because it was not a Chinese-run company. She told the High Court yesterday she accepted an $800,000 fee from Nomura for securing an A-share exchange seat from On Wah Securities in 1994. The fee was 11.43 per cent of the $7 million selling price. She only charged her long-time friend Yip Yuk-tsun, chairman of Shing On Securities, a $100,000 commission for the $29.7 million sale of his three seats to Emperor Securities. Chen, who grew up in China during the Japanese Occupation, said she charged Nomura more because it was a foreign company. 'Nomura was a Japanese international company. When you do business with your fellow countrymen, you feel closer doing business than with a foreigner,' she said. Mr Yip was so pleased with the speed of the sale he doubled the commission. Emperor paid $600,000 for its 'buyer's commission'. Chen, 65, took the witness stand yesterday to answer bribery allegations against her. She is alleged to have solicited and accepted $1.6 million in relation to the transfer of stock exchange seats in 1993 and 1994. She denied the charges. It is alleged Chen accepted $800,000 for the transfer of three seats from Shing On to Emperor. She was arrested by the ICAC on February 3 last year. Three months later, the low-profile businesswoman was given a Member of the British Empire award, the jury heard. Chen, a former convenor of the exchange's membership committee, did not deny asking for commissions for her part in the transfer of the share seats. She believed 'the charging of a commission or introducing buyers and sellers is an accepted practice, and there is nothing illegal in that'. She said she charged well below the market price in both transactions and that 'there were people willing to pay $1.4 million [commission fees]. They were queueing up'. Counsel Kevin Egan said Chen's low-ball prices in a rising market were not the actions 'of a corrupt exchange official squeezing the money out'. He said Chen was 'too embarrassed to ask for money' from her old friend, Mr Yip, on the near $30 million Shing On deal. 'This was not corruption. This was a commission,' Mr Egan said. The trial before Mr Justice Pang Kin-kee continues today.