Mystery website claims to be ‘Hong Kong International Board’

Exchange branded a fake, and ‘is entirely unrelated to HKEX’

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 November, 2016, 7:30pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 November, 2016, 10:44pm

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) has dismissed claims being made by a mystery new online company calling itself the “Hong Kong International Board (HKIB)”, that it can get firms stock market listed in the city within a year.

An HKEX spokeswoman told South China Morning Post on Tuesday that the portal, which claims to have an affiliation with the official exchange, “is entirely unrelated to HKEX”.

Hong Kong Exchange only has one main board, and a Growth Enterprise Market board for smaller companies, and no other boards exist in the city.

According to the HKIB website, it was established on July 29 by five “authoritative” financial institutions, and its co-founders include Tsang Hing-lun, whom it described as a former chief operating officer at HKEX.

A man surnamed Liu, who calls himself HKIB’s liaison officer, told the Post that the alleged board was affiliated with the Hong Kong exchange, and companies listed on the HKIB can raise funds by issuing equities. His telephone number is on the website.

There is no record of any Tsang Hing-lun ever having held high office on the HKEX website, while none of the five institutions appear to have operating licenses from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

I don’t think many people will be fooled, but even if one or two are, that would be too many
Ivan Li Sing-yeung, head of research, Sinopac Securities

The website also displays a set of listing rules. Companies, claims the site, can get listed on the HKIB by paying US$10,000. A month later a US$500,000 fee is required and three month later another US$1.5 million is charged to gain entry to an alleged “International Board”.

The website claims companies will then be able to get listed on the main Hong Kong Stock exchange or Growth Enterprise Market boards, within a year.

The HKIB website even displays a variety of photos from the “listing ceremonies” of different companies, as well as press releases and investment guides, and has developed a mobile application for retail investors.

It claims there are 39 companies listed on its board, and more than a hundred venture capital companies have already joined the platform.

Ivan Li Sing-yeung, head of research at Sinopac Securities, said such clearly fake portals are being created simply to mislead vulnerable investors, and that the regulators in Hong Kong and the mainland need to take action to stamp them out.

“I don’t think many people will be fooled, but even if one or two are, that would be too many,” Li said.

An SFC spokesman said the regulator had no comment to make. It does, however, have a list on its website of unlicensed firms that it believes are preying on Hong Kong investors.

Two of the names appearing on that list are the“Hong Kong Commodities and Mercantile Exchange” and “Hong Kong Commodity Trading Board”.