Noble says Iceberg author a former staff; group posts US$240m Q4 loss
27 Feb5:50 AM
NOBLE Group has fingered a former employee as the person behind Iceberg Research, as it reported on Thursday its first quarterly loss in three years due to a heavy impairment charge on an associate. Continue reading →
The SEC Caves on China: An exemption for Chinese auditors puts U.S. markets at risk.
Feb. 26, 2015 11:12 a.m. ET
U.S. stock-market regulators say they promote transparency and fair play, but this month the Securities and Exchange Commission quietly carved out a China-size exception: When Chinese companies list on U.S. markets, basic auditing rules won’t apply.
Why? Because China’s government doesn’t want them to, and Washington bent to Beijing’s pressure. The SEC has long sought access to the auditing records of Chinese companies suspected of fraud. Tens of billions of dollars in U.S. market value have disappeared in recent years as more than 170 U.S.-listed Chinese companies have faced scrutiny for embezzlement, theft, misrepresentation and other alleged abuses. Continue reading →
Related: HK SFC action against China Metal Recycling for accounting fraud serves as test case for HK laws involving mainland China firms
SFC wins court order to wind up China metal recycler for forgery
Thursday, 26 February, 2015, 10:17pm
Eric Ng firstname.lastname@example.org
The Securities and Futures Commission won a landmark court order to wind up China Metal Recycling (Holdings), which said it was the mainland’s largest recycler of scrap metal but was alleged by the SFC to have grossly inflated sales and profit by forging documents and transactions. It is the first time the securities watchdog has obtained a court directive to liquidate a Hong Kong-listed firm under the Securities and Futures Ordinance to protect minority shareholders and creditors. The SFC said CMR overstated its sales by about 46 per cent, or HK$8 billion, and its gross profit by 72 per cent or HK$1 billion between 2007 and 2009.
“This is an audacious and dishonest scheme using multiple secret nominees established all around the world to deceive Hong Kong investors and creditors into believing [CMR] had a track record and a performance that it simply did not have,” said SFC executive director of enforcement Mark Steward. The SFC said CMR devised a complex scheme to inflate its sales and profit dating back to its 2009 initial public offering prospectus, using a Macau subsidiary as a “factory” for generating false documents. The scheme involved fake shipments of scrap metal between the United States and mainland China, false shipping documents and accounts, and “highly complex round robin” transactions spanning continents. The Macau unit, Central Steel Macao, had made 431 payments totalling US$2.4 billion to purported suppliers in the US and Hong Kong in 2012, the SFC said. Almost all were ultimately sent back to the Macau unit. Continue reading →