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Forget about Bitcoin; Shenzhen PR group HK Zhixin accepts remuneration in share options

A series of Hong Kong companies have postulated share options in sell for a services of a Shenzhen open propinquity company, sparking discuss about either a remuneration process is appropriate.

HK Zhixin, a little-known Shenzhen-based PR firm, came underneath a spotlight in Jul after revelations that it was holding 17.5 million share options associated to a customer China Maple Leaf Educational. There are some-more than 10 open family agencies in Hong Kong specialising in providing services to listed companies. But Zhixin has a surprising use of being remunerated in batch options, instead of up-front cash.

Maple Leaf’s Hong Kong-listed shares had surged as most as 130 per cent this year, though fell neatly when a singular remuneration intrigue came to light. As a share cost reached a year high, Maple Leaf had a marketplace capitalisation of scarcely HK$12 billion.

According to a filing to a Hong Kong batch exchange, Maple Leaf concluded to postulated 17.5 million options to Zhixin on Jun 8, 2015 during an practice cost of HK$4. Two-fifths of a options can be exercised if a company’s marketplace capitalisation is no reduction than HK$8 billion for 15 uninterrupted trade days. The remaining options can be turn exercisable when a marketplace capitalisation is no reduction than HK$10 billion for 15 uninterrupted trade days. Maple Leaf’s marketplace value was about HK$3.8 billion during a time a options were granted.

“The PR organisation is working like a fund, as it collects fees formed on share performance,” Hong Kong Institute of Investors authority Ricky Tam said, adding such opening is singular in Hong Kong and might be stepping over a line.

“They are not protected for bonds traffic activity,” he added.

If Zhixin was to sell a options during HK$8.57, or nearby Maple Leaf’s share cost high for a year, it could advantage HK$80 million, or HK$26.7 million per year for a three-year use contract.

Regional open family companies typically assign a customer around HK$500,000 to HK$1 million a year.

Oscar Wang, conduct of Shanghai during Ryan Communication, pronounced that routinely PR firms would not accept options as payment. “It’s not a purpose of PR to take caring of marketplace value,” Wang said.

At slightest 3 other Hong Kong companies have given Zhixin share options in sell for services. These embody Hong Kong-listed mainland firms Essex Bio-technology, BAIOO Family Interactive and Kingworld Medicines. As partial of a deal, a options supposing by BAIOO Family and Kingworld Medicines contingency be executed on marketplace capitalisation reaching certain scale.

Carl Yeung, arch financial officer during BAIOO, pronounced a association postulated options to Zhixin in a faith that it could definitely impact a share cost that he believes is severely undervalued.

BAIOO would compensate a monthly cost of HK$30,000 and extend options to allow for 10 million of a existent released shares during a practice cost of 70 HK cents, according to an sell filing in April. The cost represented a reward of 59 per cent to a shutting cost of 44 HK cents on a date of a agreement. 100 per cent options could be exercised if marketplace capitalisation were to surpass HK$3.7 billion.

Listed in Apr 2014 during HK$2.15 per share, BAIOO’s shares have been hovering around 37 HK cents to 40 HK cents in a past month with a marketplace value about HK$1 billion.

“Zhixin’s categorical pursuit is to emanate bearing to mainland investors and media aiming to boost a stock’s liquidity and price,” Yeung said. He pronounced that providing a bonds for remuneration did not crack any sell rules.

Nevertheless, a markets reacted negatively to a revelations. Maple Leaf’s shares fell some-more than 30 per cent as news of a agreement circulated.

An financier assembly note performed by a Post shows unfamiliar equity supports who possess shares in a general propagandize user have lifted concerns over a deal, quite because a association relies on a PR organisation to boost a share price.

But Maple Leaf’s government emphasised that it did not extend a options, nonetheless it had filed a agreement to a internal bourse.

Brett McGonegal, authority during Capital Link International, pronounced equity options for partners is a good approach of aligning interests and provides an inducement for companies to assistance lift equity value by their hit and services.

However, he cautioned that it might also emanate a dispute of interest.

“It is also charity a possibility for vendors to manipulate a open notice of a association in a wish to boost a value of their option, such as putting out fake or dubious press releases,” he said.

Andrew Lam, Hong Kong-based executive during accounting organisation BDO, pronounced a rehearse was within a inventory rules.

He combined that it “will presumably inspire some grantees to concentration on short-term objectives such as distinction or share price, during a responsibility of long-term advantages of a company”.

Zhixin was contacted by a Post though did not respond to queries by press time.

Tam pronounced a open family association should divulge to investors and shareholders that it stands to advantage from opening gains in a client’s shares from any selling events.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission pronounced it had no criticism on a case.