Ex-HKEX senior executive and consultant charged with bribery and MIPO over IPO applications
A former Joint-head of the IPO Vetting Team of the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Limited (HKEX) and an Initial Public Offering (IPO) consultant have been charged by the ICAC this (March 25) morning for alleged bribery and misconduct in public office (MIPO) involving a total of $9.15 million in connection with the IPO applications of various listed companies.
Eugene Yeoh Kim-loong, 43, former Joint-head of the IPO Vetting Team of the Listing Department of the HKEX, faces two charges – one of public servant accepting an advantage, contrary to Section 4(2)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO); and one of MIPO, contrary to Common Law.
Richard Lum Chor-wah, 60, IPO consultant, faces one count of offering an advantage to a public servant, contrary to Section 4(1)(a) of the POBO.
The defendants will be brought to the West Kowloon Magistracy this morning for mention.
At the material time, Yeoh was one of the two Joint-heads overseeing the IPO Vetting Team of the Listing Department of the HKEX. He was responsible for vetting IPO applications for compliance with the Listing Rules and the Companies Ordinance, and endorsing recommendations of approval or rejection before those IPO applications were tabled to the Listing Committee or GEM Listing Approval Group.
Lum was an IPO consultant providing advice and assistance to companies who intended to make IPO applications.
The MIPO charge alleges that between June 20, 2017 and April 30, 2019, Yeoh, being a public official, namely Joint-head of the IPO Vetting Team of the Listing Department of the HKEX, wilfully misconducted himself in the course of or in relation to his public office, without reasonable excuse or justification.
Yeoh has allegedly concealed from or failed to declare or disclose to the HKEX the transfer of a total sum of $9.15 million from Lum to Yeoh’s wife.
Yeoh has also allegedly failed to declare a conflict of interest in connection with his handling and processing of various IPO applications in which Lum participated; and failed to abstain from the deliberation and decision making in respect of those IPO applications.
One of the bribery charges alleges that on or about December 21, 2017, Yeoh accepted from Lum a sum of $2 million, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, as an inducement to or reward for being or remaining favourably disposed to the IPO application of Shen You Holdings Limited.
The other bribery charge alleges that on or about December 21, 2017, Lum offered the abovementioned $2 million to Yeoh for the same purpose without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.
The case arose from a corruption complaint referred by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The SFC and the HKEX have rendered assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.