Hong Kong Firms Distance Themselves From BEA Chief Li
Several Hong Kong-listed companies are disassociating themselves from David Kwok Po Li, the chairman and chief executive of Bank of East Asia Ltd. (BEA), as he is involved in a financial crime investigation in Spain.
The National Court in Madrid opened an investigation this month against executives including Li and BEA’s nonexecutive director Isidro Fainé Casas, the lender said last week in a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange. It is part of a probe of alleged market abuse and insider trading in a number of share sales relating to Barcelona-based CaixaBank S.A., including its takeover bid for Portugal’s Banco BPI, according to the filing.
Fainé Casas is the chairman of Criteria Caixa Corp. S.A., the parent of CaixaBank. Both Li and Fainé Casas were former directors of CaixaBank. Li resigned from the post in October 2014, and Fainé Casas stepped down in June 2016.
Several listed companies issued statements Tuesday clarifying their links with Li. Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd., owner and operator of the luxury hotel brand Peninsula, said that as an independent nonexecutive director Li is not involved in the day-to-day business of the company. Beverage maker Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd. released a similar statement. Telecom giant PCCW, where Li is also an independent nonexecutive director, said it was informed of the investigation with no additional information.
BEA said it learned of the case from media reports, and Li and Fainé Casas have informed the bank that the allegations against them were unfounded and without merit. A BEA spokesperson declined to comment beyond the statement.
CaixaBank, once the biggest shareholder of BEA, in 2015 transferred its holdings of 17.24% of BEA shares and 9.01% of Grupo Financiero Inbursa shares to Criteria in exchange for 9.9% of stock of CaixaBank. The deal is part of the court’s investigation, according to BEA.
Li’s great-grandfather Li Pui-choi was a renowned banker who built up the Li family as one of the Big Four Families in Hong Kong during the colonial era.
Founded in 1918, BEA is Hong Kong’s third-largest bank by branch network. The bank had net income of HK$6.3 billion ($804 million) with total assets of HK$808.9 billion at the end of 2017.
Separately, CaixaBank was probed in April in a 100 million euro money laundering case with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd.’s branch in Madrid. Several senior executives of the Chinese bank were arrested.
BEA fell 3.05% to HK$25.45 Tuesday in Hong Kong, while the Hang Seng Index declined 3.08%.
Mar 27 18:54
Mar 27 18:41
Mar 27 10:56
Mar 26 16:01
Mar 26 14:54
Mar 25 22:17
Mar 25 17:57
Mar 25 15:12
Mar 25 12:53
Mar 25 10:26
Mar 24 16:52
Mar 24 12:37
Mar 24 10:10
- 1Despite Official Figures, Wuhan Continues to Find New Asymptomatic Covid-19 Cases Daily
- 2In Depth: Why South Korea Is Winning Its Covid-19 Fight
- 3Wuhan Reports First New Covid-19 Case in Five Days
- 4China Meat Markets Offer Preview for Rest of World, Cargill Says
- 5Coronavirus Live Updates (Thursday): G-20 Commits to $5 Trillion Injection; U.S. Jobless Claims Hit Record; Global Caseload Tops 500,000
- 1Power To The People: Pintec Serves A Booming Consumer Class
- 2Largest hotel group in Europe accepts UnionPay
- 3UnionPay mobile QuickPass debuts in Hong Kong
- 4UnionPay International launches premium catering privilege U Dining Collection
- 5UnionPay International’s U Plan has covered over 1600 stores overseas