A company accused of running an illicit leveraged foreign-exchange business has won the right to challenge the Securities and Futures Commission's power to take it to court. New Chuan Kong Investment and one of its directors, Fok Hiu-tong, won leave in the Court of Final Appeal yesterday to fight a judge's ruling that they be tried for the alleged offence. The SFC convinced a High Court judge in March to quash a magistrates' ruling which acquitted the company and the director because of a legal technicality. The technicality surrounded the procedure by which the SFC brought the matter to the magistrates' court in December 1997. Yesterday, counsel for New Chuan Kong and Mr Fok, barrister Gerard McCoy, SC, told the Court of Final Appeal that the SFC had failed to put up security for costs, suggesting their appeal would have to be abandoned. Further, he said the body had mis-represented this to the magistrate, tantamount to an abuse of process. Moreover, the SFC failed to comply with time limits necessary under the law applying to illegal leveraged exchange business, he said. The Court of Final Appeal judges said New Chuan Kong and Mr Fok had an arguable case, with a hearing to be scheduled to contest the lower court's decision.