March 25, 2020 / 6:03 AM / 13 days ago

CORRECTED-Former Hong Kong bourse official charged with bribery relating to IPO

(Corrects eight paragraph to clarify that there was only one payment of HK$2 million)

HONG KONG, March 25 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s anti-corruption unit said on Wednesday it had charged a former bourse official with bribery and misconduct regarding an IPO application by thread manufacturer Shen You Holdings Limited in 2017.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) alleged in a statement that Eugene Yeoh accepted cash payments from a consultant as an inducement to view the IPO application favourably.

At the time, Yeoh was joint-head of the IPO vetting team at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, responsible making sure applications were compliant with listing rules and endorsing recommendations to the bourse’s listing committees which have the final say. Yeoh left the bourse in May 2019.

Yeoh did not immediately respond to a LinkedIn message seeking comment and contact information for his lawyer could not be immediately obtained.

A spokesman for the bourse said it “has cooperated fully with the ICAC in the conduct of its investigation of a former employee and will continue to do so.” He did not name the former employee.

Shen You Holdings, which has a market value of about $5.2 million, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. A phone number for the company could not immediately be found.

ICAC alleged in a statement that Yeoh concealed or failed to disclose the transfer of HK $9.15 million to his wife from IPO consultant Richard Lum. The statement said a payment of HK$2 million related to Shen You’s IPO.

Lum, who was charged with offering an advantage to a public servant, could not be immediately reached for comment. Contact information for his lawyer could also not be immediately obtained.

The anti-corruption unit said in June it had searched the offices of two firms that sponsor, or lead, IPOs and two listed companies, and had made three arrests.

At that time Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission said it was reviewing the manner in which the exchange dealt with listing. (Reporting by Alun John; Additional reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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