DAVID LI  (李國寶)


David Li is a leading member of one of the most prominent families in business and politics in Hong Kong, where family connections are crucial. Li's brother, Arthur Li
(李國章), is Hong Kong's education secretary and a Cabinet official; their cousin, Andrew Li (李國能), is the chief justice of Hong Kong's highest court.

One of David Li's uncles, Ronald Li (李福兆), was once the chairman of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Another uncle, Simon Li (李福善), is a former judge who also ran an unsuccessful campaign to be appointed Hong Kong's chief executive in 1996.

The Li family has one of Hong Kong's most aristocratic lineages. David Li's great-grandfather, Li Shek-tang (李石朋), grew wealthy as a rice mill and shipping magnate, bringing rice to Hong Kong from Vietnam. David Li's grandfather, Li Koon-chun (李冠春), was a founder of the Bank of East Asia in 1918, the first bank in Hong Kong not owned by immigrants from Britain.   -  TAIPEI TIMES  13 May 2007

David Li is also on the HKSAR Land Fund Advisory Committee and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority. He is chairman of the Chinese Banks Association, pro-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong and chairman of the Hong Kong Management Association.

He is either a director or non-executive director of the following listed companies: Cable & Wireless HKT, Hong Kong and China Gas, China Merchants China Direct Investments, China Overseas Land & Investment, COSCO Pacific, FPB Bank Holding Company, San Miguel Brewery, Sime Derby, SCMP Group, Vitasoy International and Henderson Cyber.   - 2008 February 18   FINANCE ASIA

Socialite alleges libel by weekly

The affair between legislator David Li and lawyer Peggy Liu (left) has scandalised Hongkong high society as Mr Li and his wife Poon Kam Choi (right) have always seemed a loving couple. -- APPLE DAILY

HONGKONG - The territory is abuzz with a high-society scandal that allegedly involves at least three notable families.

A weekly magazine here recently carried a report, complete with pictures, of married Hongkong legislator and banker David Li's rendezvous in Paris with the daughter of another prominent Hongkong banker.

Mr Li, 63, chairman of Bank of East Asia, was spotted behaving amorously with Ms Peggy Liu by East Weekly last month in the French capital.

Ms Liu's father owns Hongkong's Liu Chong Hing Bank.

In order not to arouse suspicion, the couple had left Hongkong separately for Paris where they spent three days together, reported East Weekly.

Ms Liu, 40, a partner at a Hongkong law firm, flew to France on April 22, sent off at the airport by Mr Li. The magazine noted that he kissed her twice before they parted.

He followed her two days later, with his unsuspecting wife, Ms Poon Kam Choi, even seeing him off at the airport.

Reports said that Ms Liu, who was heard calling Mr Li her 'baby' in Paris, spent their time there shopping and watching striptease performances.

Their affair has scandalised Hongkong high society because Mr Li and his wife, who have two sons, have always seemed like a loving couple in their nearly 30 years of marriage.

His wife has an equally illustrious background, being the sister of Hongkong luxury retailer Dickson Poon, chairman of Dickson Concepts.

Mr Li and Ms Liu, who both sit on the board of the University of Hongkong as well as the City University of Hongkong, have also outraged educationists.  - Singapore Straits Time     2002

Socialite Peggy Liu is suing Ming Pao Weekly for libel
after the glossy magazine alleged she had ``loads of affairs'', including one with Baroness Lydia Dunn's husband, Michael Thomas.

Liu, a solicitor, said in a writ lodged in the Court of First Instance that the story had seriously injured her reputation.

She is also seeking damages.

Details of the alleged tryst with Thomas were included in last Saturday's article, which was a follow up to a story about her relationship with Bank of East Asia chairman David Li Kwok-po.

``There was a rumour that she had an amorous relationship with the husband of Lydia Dunn - the amorous girlfriend of Li Kwok-po has loads of love affairs,'' the story said, according to the writ.

Liu, whose family owns the majority shares of Liu Chong Hing Bank, took legal action after the magazine refused to publish an apology.

The writ also said the story had meant to convey the suggestion that she ``had a prior history of having extra-marital and/or amorous affairs with married men''.

The cover story, which carried a large photograph of Liu, had ``distressed and embarrassed'' her, the writ added.

The magazine had failed to take reasonable steps to verify the truth of the article before publishing, it said.

A similar story was published in the magazine's sister newspaper, Ming Pao, the following day.

Liu is seeking a court injunction to restrain the publisher from issuing similar ``defamatory words'' about her.

Ming Pao Weekly published the report after another Chinese magazine reported a story about Liu dating banker Li in Paris on May 1.   - by Julie Chu    iMail.com   11 May 2002

BEA chief retains tight grip at helm
Board approves extension of Li's term, suggesting he will hold reins long enough for his son to take over top job


David Li has a network of extended family ties                     

Bank of East Asia chairman and chief executive David Li Kwok-po, 64, has won board approval to extend his term at the helm of Hong Kong's fifth-largest lender for up to five years.

Analysts said the renewal of Mr Li's contract underlined the hold he retained over the family-controlled bank and could pave the way for his son to assume the top job in 2009.

Since turning 60, Mr Li has retained his post at the discretion of the board. His son, Adrian Li Man-kiu, was appointed general manager and head of corporate banking in 2001, and is regarded by analysts as an heir-apparent for the job.

"The extension of Mr Li's term will buy time for his son to take over when he finally leaves," an analyst said. "It's hard to say what other implications may follow from the move - though arguably someone else might have had a more relaxed attitude towards a merger approach."

Bank of East Asia did not return requests for comment.

Mr Li has disclosed an interest of just 1.25 per cent in Bank of East Asia, but analysts believe his network of extended family ties enables him to call on the support of more than 20 per cent of shareholder votes. The biggest Li family shareholding in the bank (3.19 per cent) was disclosed in the latest annual report as being held by Simon Li Fook-sean, a former vice-president of the Court of Appeal and Mr Li's great uncle. Other relatives with sizeable holdings include Li Fook-wo, with 2.19 per cent, and Aubrey Li Kwok-sing, who holds 2.11 per cent.

The latest news will end speculation that Mr Li was due to retire after 23 years as chief executive of the bank, and seven as its chairman. In January last year, Mr Li fuelled that speculation when he told the South China Morning Post that a search was under way for an internally appointed successor.

In addition to being a legislator and member of Legco's Financial Services Panel, he sits on the boards of 15 listed firms in Hong Kong including SCMP Group, publisher of the South China Morning Post, and two statutory bodies, Hong Kong Interbank Clearing and the Hong Kong Mortgage Corp.

An often outspoken critic of the government, Mr Li last year voiced banking sector concerns over the proposed Article 23 national security law and previously was a dissenting finance establishment voice calling for the pegged exchange rate to be scrapped.

Mr Li is also chairman of the Chinese Banks Association and the Hong Kong Management Association, a member of the Banking Advisory Committee, the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee, a director of the Mandatory Provident Fund and pro-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong.

Market talk has also focused on changes due at the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp and its 62 per cent-controlled subsidiary Hang Seng Bank.

At 58, Hongkong and Shanghai Banking chairman David Eldon is due for retirement, and the betting in the marketplace is that Hang Seng Bank chief executive and vice-chairman Vincent Cheng Hoi-chuen will replace Mr Eldon, while Hongkong and Shanghai Banking general manager Raymond Or Ching-fai will take over at the helm of Hang Seng Bank.

An HSBC spokesman declined to comment last night.   -  21 June 2004    SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Trading scandal puts HK family in spotlight

One of Hong Kong's most powerful financiers, banker David Li, has been linked to an alleged insider trading probe surrounding a five billion dollar bid for financial news agency Dow Jones, a report said Wednesday.

Li, the chairman and chief executive of Bank of East Asia, Hong Kong's largest local bank, also sits on Dow Jones' board of directors, a key link which US investigators are understood to be now probing.

Li is expected to be questioned soon by American regulators, the online edition of the Wall Street Journal newspaper said.

The financier, a close personal friend of Hong Kong political leader Donald Tsang, denied giving information to a Hong Kong couple accused of buying a huge block of Dow Jones stock just before its share price rocketed on news that tycoon Rupert Murdoch's News Corp had launched a takeover bid for the company.

"I did not disclose to anyone, not even my wife, any information about Dow Jones," Li told WSJ.com, which is owned by Dow Jones.

The Hong Kong couple, Kan King Wong and Charlotte Ka On Wong Leung, were named in a civil lawsuit by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as having pocketed more than eight million dollars after buying Dow Jones stock.

They were said to have borrowed 15 million dollars to buy 415,000 Dow Jones shares just before Murdoch's bid sent the stock soaring.

Their bank accounts have since been frozen pending investigation.

The WSJ.com report said Li is closely linked to businessman Michael Leung, Charlotte's father, who was named by the SEC as having transferred a large sum of money to his daughter's bank account to help finance the share purchase.

Neither Li nor Leung are named in the SEC suit.

Murdoch offered 60-dollars a share for Dow Jones last month, a huge premium on its trading price at the time of 36 dollars, in a potential media industry shake up that could also see rival Reuters change hands.

Bank of East Asia officials were not immediately available to comment on the report.

HONG KONG  - The family at the center of an insider trading case involving shares of publisher Dow Jones & Co. Inc. was rich, but not famous -- until this week.

A husband and wife -- Kan King Wong and Charlotte Ka On Wong Leung -- were accused by U.S. regulators on Tuesday of "widespread and unlawful trading activity" in Dow Jones shares ahead of News Corp.'s $5 billion takeover bid that resulted in a potential gain of $8.1 million.

  To help finance the trading, $3.1 million was transferred from the wife's father, businessman Michael Leung Kai Hung, into an account held by the couple at Merrill Lynch , the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's complaint said.

Michael Leung, who was not named as a defendant in the civil complaint filed by the SEC, is the founder of a garment manufacturer and started a Hong Kong mobile phone company that was sold last year to giant China Mobile .

Leung declined to comment Wednesday.

"I will not comment for now because the case is being handled by lawyers," he told a local radio station.

His daughter and her husband could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, and reporters visiting the couple's luxury apartment building in Hong Kong's Mid-Levels neighborhood were asked by security guards to leave.

FAMILY MATTERS

Like many Hong Kong businessmen of his generation, Leung built his fortune himself. And as is often the case in Asia, he conducted business with family members.

The cellphone company that Leung founded employed his daughter Charlotte Wong as a vice president until she left in March. Her husband is a consultant to the firm, according to Josephine Tong, a spokeswoman for China Mobile Peoples Telephone.

Leung's age is given as 64 in the 2006 annual report of Raymond Industrial Ltd., a Hong Kong manufacturer on whose board he serves.

Leung holds a degree in social work and spent more than a year as a probation officer before starting a garment business, according to a biography written when he was awarded an honorary fellowship at Lingnan University.

He branched out into the telecoms business in the mid-1980s, and continues to run his Onwel Group of companies, where he is executive chairman, and serves on boards of educational and other organizations.

As of May 2005, Leung owned about 18 percent of China Resources Peoples Telephone Co. Ltd., which China Mobile agreed to buy in October 2005 in a deal that valued the small Hong Kong carrier at about $434 million and would have made Leung's stake worth $78 million.

Leung, who sold all his shares when China Mobile took over the firm, resigned his post as executive vice chairman of what is now known as China Mobile Peoples Telephone at the end of January 2007, the company spokeswoman said.

INSIDER KNOWLEDGE

The SEC complaint does not say how the couple may have come into possession of any inside knowledge. A source familiar with the situation said the irregular trading pattern was spotted by Merrill Lynch and reported to the SEC.

In court documents, the SEC said it had "strong circumstantial evidence" that improper trading had occurred, saying the Dow Jones stock purchases had increased the value of the defendants' Merrill Lynch portfolio by about 25 times.

The couple had no history of trading Dow Jones stock in the account previously, the SEC said.

The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Dow Jones, reported on Wednesday that one possible connection the SEC was expected to pursue involved Dow Jones director David Li, chairman and chief executive of the Bank of East Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong.

Li and Leung share a history of business and social dealings, the newspaper reported.

Li's office declined to comment when contacted by Reuters and a Dow Jones representative was not immediately available.

Li was quoted in the Journal as saying, "I did not disclose to anyone, not even my wife, any information about Dow Jones."

The Journal reported that Li said he did not recall exactly when he learned about the takeover offer but believed it was during a telephonic board meeting prior to the Dow Jones annual meeting on April 18. "I cannot remember when it was because there were so many conversations," he told the newspaper.

In its complaint against the Hong Kong couple, the SEC said the pair spent more than a week transferring in millions of dollars from Michael Leung, a bank in Brussels and two margin loans to their brokerage account to buy the shares in the two weeks before the bid was publicly announced.

Shares of Dow Jones closed at $36.33 the day before the $60-a-share takeover offer for the company became public. After the bid was announced on May 1, the stock jumped above $55. - Reuters    2007 May 9

 


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