Monday, May 27, 2019

Top Education Group share price movements require explanation from NSW LPAB, TEQSA,and AG Speakman; Top's declining cash flow from operations adds to worries

by Ganesh Sahathevan

It has been previously reported on this blog that the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB), and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) have refused to provide answers to queries from this writer about the persons and processes involved in granting Top Education Institute Ltd the "first and only" license to issue Law degrees that qualify recipients for admission to practice law in NSW and in Australia:
TOP Education Institute's Bachelor of Laws : Political donations,HK Stock Exchange IPO seem to have left regulators confounded, speechless 

As reported, Top Group is controlled by one Minshen Zhu, better known for his political donations to both sides of politics.These include donations to the NS W Liberal Party in the 4 months or so prior to the LPAB granting Top Education Group its license to issue law degrees. 
Top Education Group made donations worth AUD 44 275 to the Liberal Party NSW Branch. 

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman oversees the LPAB and the legal profession in NSW.He is also a member of the Liberal Party and the elected Member Of Parliament for Cronulla.

Top Group was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after it was granted the right to issue LLB degrees. Its prospectus contained a number of references to the fact that it was the "first and only" private company bestowed that right.

The hart below of Top Group's share price over the past year (it was listed in May 2018) shows clearly how volumes traded spiked just after listing, and how the share price has fallen from a high of HK 96 cents to a low of HK 27 cents.It currently trades in the HK 30-35 cent range.

That sudden spike, and the dramatic fall is share price (and market cap,no new shares have been issued) would concern not only investors but also students, who have placed reliance on the LPAB,TEQSA and AG's impramatur. Regardless of that , all three have chosen to remain silent.

Their silence is even more troubling given movements in the Top share price which correlate to regulatory announcements.

In its annual report for the year ended 30 June 2018 , dated 24 September 2018 ,Top's management stated :

On 5 September 2018, we received a formal advice from Legal Profession Admission Board of New South Wales (‘‘NSW LPAB’’) that the re- accreditation process of our Bachelor of Laws will commence in September 2018 and may take more than six months to complete. This accreditation follows the normal cycle of re-accreditation. 

Readers can see from the chart above that on or around 5 September 2018 Top's share price (which was trending downwards) went into another steep fall, before spiking approximately 30%,from a low of about 30 cents to a high of about 40 cents.

The LPAB and Speakman decided to issue Top that license to grant LLB degrees despite an oversupply of law graduates and in doing so exposed themselves to the complexities of regulating degree issuers whose stock is traded on a stock exchange. Their actions will come under the scrutiny of investors worldwide (for the HKSE is an international market) regardless of their past practice. 

Top's declining cash flow from operations would be of concern not only to investors but also students who have enrolled in the Top LLB based on Speakman and his LPAB's impramatur.

Cash flow
All numbers in HK Dollar thousands
Period ending
Net income
Operating activities, cash flow provided by or used in
Adjustments to net income
Changes in accounts receivable
Changes in liabilities
Changes in inventory
Changes in other operating activities
Total cash flow from operating activities
Investment activities, cash flow provided by or used in
Capital expenditure
Other cash flow from investment activities
Total cash flow from investment activities
Financing activities, cash flow provided by or used in
Dividends paid
Sale purchase of stock
Net borrowings
Other cash flow from financing activities
Total cash flow from financing activities
Effect of exchange rate changes
Change in cash and cash equivalents
Posted 4 hours ago by Anonymous

Add a comment

No comments:

Post a Comment