Joseph Lau replaces his brother as chairman

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 December, 2006, 12:00am

Chinese Estates reshuffles board after ban on Thomas Lau for insider dealing

Joseph Lau Luen-hung has been appointed chairman of his family-controlled Chinese Estates Holdings, replacing his younger brother, Thomas Lau Luen-hung, who was banned by the Insider Dealing Tribunal from directorships in the company for one year.

In turn, Joseph Lau will be replaced as a company executive director by his 26-year-old son, Lau Ming-wai (right).

The board shuffle was sparked by Thomas Lau last week being barred for one year from sitting on any company board other than Lifestyle International Holdings' for using insider information between September 14 and 20 in 1999 to trade in property developer Asia Orient Holdings' shares. The tribunal also ordered him to pay HK$34.16 million in penalties.

New chairman Joseph Lau maintained the changes would not have any adverse impact on the group's daily operations and management.

The Chinese Estates board comprises two executive directors, one non-executive director and three independent non-executive directors.

Mr Lau Ming-wai holds a bachelor's degree in law from King's College London and a master's degree in law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London. Currently involved in the developer's operations, he has worked at US investment firms Goldman Sachs and Longview Partners and is a registered lawyer in the state of New York.

Meanwhile, subsidiary Chinese Estates and Finance has increased the size of a five-year loan from HK$1 billion to HK$2 billion, according to debt market magazine basis point.

The facility, guaranteed by the parent firm, is secured by the Silvercord Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui and by Causeway Place.

The financing pays a top-level all-in of 51.3 basis points for an average life of 4.4 years. The additional loan amount was allocated to existing lenders on a pro-rata basis.