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Risks of undisclosed borrowing highlighted as Huishan goes sour

来源:FT中文网    2017-04-12 13:05

        When Huishan Dairy’s shares fell 90 per cent without warning last month, it was a heart-in-the-mouth moment for shareholders in the Hong Kong-listed company. That applies especially to its chairman, Yang Kai: he was witnessing the evaporation of $3.1bn of loan collateral, putting his control of the group in doubt.        当辉山乳业(Huishan Dairy)股票上月毫无预兆地下跌90%时,这家香港上市公司股东的心脏提到了嗓子眼。辉山董事局主席杨凯尤其如此,那一刻他目睹31亿美元贷款质押品蒸发,这让他对该集团的控制能力遭到质疑。
        While the fall was spectacular, taking less than 45 minutes, it was only the latest in a series of similar collapses to hit the city’s equity market. Together, they raise questions about undisclosed borrowing by big shareholders who use their stakes as collateral.        虽然不到45分钟内如此暴跌令人震惊,但这仅是香港股市一系列类似暴跌中的最新一例。这些案例共同对大股东用股份作为质押品秘密贷款的行为提出质疑。
        In Huishan’s case, Mr Yang had pledged 71 per cent of the company’s shares to obtain loans. Only one loan, secured with 26 per cent of its share capital, had been disclosed before the shares plummeted.        以辉山乳业为例,杨凯质押公司71%股份获得贷款。在此次股票暴跌前,只有一笔以26%股份担保的贷款得到公开。
        Borrowing against company shares happens the world over but is particularly common in Asia, which abounds in company founders whose wealth is tied up in their businesses. Banks love the fees the loans generate, and consider them a means of helping favoured clients. The more cynical liken the trade to pawnbroking.        以公司股票质押贷款的行为全世界到处都有,但在亚洲尤为常见,亚洲有大量公司创始人的财富与企业紧紧相连。银行喜欢这些贷款带来的收入,并视之为帮助优先客户的手段。更玩世不恭的人会把这种交易比作典当。
        What makes Hong Kong different from China or India, among others, is that shareholder borrowers do not have to disclose their loans unless the proceeds go to the company. Huishan’s fall was almost certainly caused by shares being dumped by a stock lender: filings show a third of the shares traded during the sell-off were owned by Mr Yang’s main investment vehicle. But it did not have enough unencumbered shares to have sold the stake itself.        香港与中国内地或印度等地不同之处在于,股东借款人不必披露贷款,除非贷款资金给公司。辉山乳业的暴跌几乎肯定是接受股票质押的贷款人抛售造成的,报告文件显示此次抛售期间交易的三分之一股票为杨凯主要投资公司持有,但其本身并没有足够的未质押股票来进行这些抛售。
        In China, about $859bn of stock was pledged for loans as of the end of March, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysis of mainland filings.        据美银美林(Bank of America Merrill Lynch)对中国内地报告文件的分析,截至3月底,内地约有8590亿美元的股票被质押贷款。
        Regulators there are sufficiently worried to be looking at how they can curb the practice. In Hong Kong, investors have no way of knowing how many companies might be at risk.        监管部门十分担心,正在思考如何遏制这种行为。而在香港,投资者无从得知有多少公司可能面临风险。
        “I think we should know,” says David Webb, an independent investor and shareholder activist in Hong Kong. “I don’t have a problem with people pledging their shares, but investors should know if there is a risk of change of control, or if perhaps a controlling shareholder starts dancing to the tune of a creditor.”        香港独立投资者和股东维权人士戴维•韦布(David Webb)表示:“我认为我们应该知情。我对人们质押股票没有疑问,但投资者应该知道是否存在控制权变更风险,或一名控股股东是否可能开始受债权人摆布。”
        Tycoons have tended to oppose disclosure, fearing that the loans would reveal the extent of their leverage. A review in 1998 by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission emphasised the need to consider shareholder privacy and concluded that disclosure would not provide meaningful information.        企业巨头们往往反对披露,因为担心这些贷款会暴露他们的杠杆规模。香港证监会(Securities and Futures Commission) 1998年的一次评估强调需要考虑股东隐私,并得出结论,认为披露不会提供有意义的信息。
        Hong Kong Exchange officials discussed the matter again in 2004 following three Huishan-sized price plunges linked to share pledges, but no action was taken. The SFC and the HKEx declined to comment.        2004年,港交所(HKEx)官员再次讨论这一问题,原因是此前发生了3起与股权质押有关的类似辉山跌幅的股价崩盘,但他们并未采取任何行动。香港证监会和港交所均拒绝置评。
        “It is egregious,” says one Hong Kong-based hedge fund manager. “The only people who lose out [from the lack of disclosure] are other investors. You could say it is a false disclosure regime since, in effect, these controlling shareholders are not as invested as you think in their company.”        “这极为糟糕,”驻香港的一名对冲基金经理表示,“其他投资者是(披露缺失造成的)唯一输家。你可以说这是一个虚假的披露机制,因为实际上,这些控股股东并不像你想的那样对自己的公司投资那么多。”
        Even if big shareholders consider themselves fully invested when borrowing, they rarely are following a price plunge.        即使大股东在借款时认为自己是满仓投资的,在股价暴跌后也极少是如此。
        Li Wing Sang, who held 19 per cent of Tech Pro Technology before its shares fell 90 per cent last July, now holds just 8 per cent. Shortly after, a series of brokers began pursuing him through the courts for loan repayments.        在德普科技(Tech Pro Technology)股价去年7月暴跌90%之前,李永生(Li Wing Sang)拥有该公司19%股份,如今他只持有8%。股价暴跌后不久,许多经纪商开始通过法院要求他偿还贷款。
        Mr Yang himself is no stranger to the behind-the-scenes chaos that follows price plunges.        杨凯本人对股价暴跌后的幕后混乱并不陌生。
        Court filings show that he became involved with Hang Fat Ginseng in January 2016 after its shares dropped 91 per cent. At that time, Hang Fat founder Matthew Yeung faced losing control of the ginseng trader after pledging shares worth a quarter of the company.        法庭文件显示,在恒发洋参(Hang Fat Ginseng)股价暴跌91%后,杨凯于2016年1月介入进来。当时,恒发洋参创始人杨永仁(Matthew Yeung)在将公司四分之一股份质押后面临失去公司控制权。
        According to the filings from a creditor action against Mr Yeung, Mr Yang bought 1.2bn shares, or 6.2 per cent of the total, from Mr Yeung at a discount to the collapsed price.        一位债权人对杨永仁采取行动的相关文件显示,杨凯从杨永仁手中以低于暴跌后价格的价格购买了12亿股,占总股本的6.2%。
        Mr Yeung said he thought the deal would allow him to buy back the shares at the same price when the crisis had passed, but Mr Yang sold the shares as soon as the stock resumed trading for a profit of HK$55m ($7.1m). Mr Yeung was replaced as chairman last May.        杨永仁表示,他本以为这笔交易可以让他在危机过后以同样的价格购回这些股票,但杨凯在该股一恢复交易便将这些股票出售,获利5500万港元(合710万美元)。去年5月,杨永仁不再担任董事长。
        Trading in Huishan’s stock has been suspended since its price plunge. On Monday the company’s woes deepened with the announcement of an official default.        辉山乳业自股价暴跌后已被停牌。周一,该公司正式宣布违约,危机进一步加深。
        Investors will probably have to wait longer for Mr Yang to resolve his finances fully — and for Hong Kong to look again at its lack of disclosure.        投资者可能不得不花更长时间等待杨凯完全解决自身财务问题,等待香港再次审视披露缺失的问题。

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