Earnest Investments aims to raise HK$10 million

Earnest Investment Holdings plans to raise HK$10 million by listing 10 million new shares on Hong Kong''s Stock Exchange.

Earnest Investment Holdings, an investment company with no track record and HK$50 million ($6.4 million) in cash on its balance sheet, plans to raise HK$10 million in an initial share offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The company, incorporated in Feburary in the Cayman Inslands, plans to invest in listed and unlisted companies in Hong Kong and mainland China. Its investments will normally be made in equity-related securities and debt instruments in companies across a range of industries including manufacturing, services, property, telecommunications, technology and infrastructure. It will issue 10 million new shares, or 16.67% of the enlarged share capital at HK$1 each. The company expects to receive HK$6.8 million net of fees and commissions. Trading is scheduled to begin July 26.

After the listing, 27.5% of the company will be held by Supreme Zone Investments, a company wholly owned by Rebecca Ho Wai Ling, a private investor. 28.33% will be held by New Millennium Profits, a company wholly owned by Ng Yue Ching, a private investor who is also a non-executive director. Ng, 47, has 14 years experience in the electronics and trading industries. She has invested in industries such as shipping, electronics products and commodities.

An additional 27.50% of the company will be held by Ho Man Piu, a private investor, and the remaining 16.67% will be held by the public. The investment manager is Success Talent Investments, 50% owned by Lee Kwok Leung, 46, former deputy general manager of Jua Chiao Commercial Bank and, from 1992 to 1999, managing director of Bank of China International's Direct Investment Management. He managed $150 million in investments in Greater China. He is currently managing director of Derico Financial Services, a corporate finance and fund management company.

The remaining 50% of Success Talent will be held by Choi Wai Yin, 41, formerly manager of the assessing department of Bank of China International Direct Investment Management. From 1994 to 1998 he was an executive director of CEF New Asia Partners, managing two direct investment funds of about $180 million. He too is an investment executive of Derico Financial Services.

Other executive directors of Earnest Investments include See Lee Seng, 41, formerly manager and chief dealer at Drexel Burnham Lambert. From 1988 to 1999 he was assistant vice president of Drexel in Hong Kong, managing a fund of about $100 million. From 1994 he has been managing director of Keen Shing Investment Consultants, engaging in advisory work.

Cheng Ping Lun, 40, was appointed executive director in February. He is a registered professional planner and is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Hong Kong Institute of Planners. He has been a planning consultant for a variety of real estate development projects in Hong Kong and China.

Nam Ka Keung, 33, became an executive director in June. From November 1995 to 2000 he was a dealing director of M&A Securities (HK) and Worldwide Brokerage (HK). Since June 1997 he has been the dealing director and general manager of Outfield Securities (HK). 

Under Stock Exchange regulations a company normally needs a three year financial track record to receive listing approval. However, Earnest Investments has gained a three-year waiver from the ruling under Chapter 21 of the regulations which allows closed end investment funds to list without a record. In a closed end fund the number of units is fixed unless the company issues new shares. Shareholders receive an annual distribution similar to a dividend.

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