Friday, November 15, 2019

Why Top Group's market price collapse and China connections bring Zhu Minshen & co within the ambit of Minister Tehan's foreign influence laws (and how NSW's LPAB created the problem)

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan. Source: AAP.The Minister  seems to have discovered that Australian universities have 
become too addicted to Chinese money

While Zhu Minshen's Top Education Group Ltd is an Australian incorporated company it is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and its controlling shareholders , Zhu Minshen and Amen Lee, are Chinese citizens (who may also be Australian citizens or residents).Top's share market price collapsed after it was listed, and its share price remains flat (see story below).

Top's capital structure viewed as a whole and its share market performance  suggest that it is a company reliant on Chinese and Hong Kong capital which happens to be incorporated in Australia. Considering it an Australian company for the purpose of Australia's foreign interference laws is overly simplistic, a case of placing legal form over substance.

Despite that substance the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board, which is chaired by the Chief Justice Of NSW Tom Bathurst and overseen by the Attorney General NSW Mark Speakman SC,decided to issue the company the first and only license to award LLBs issued a non=public university. The fact that Top Group is in substance a Chinese company makes the LPAB's decision a double first; no foreign entity has ever been allowed to award LLB's in Australia, nor has that privilege been extended private companies.

There are good reasons for limiting the right to award LLBs to public universities.LLBs can lead a career as a barrister and solicitor, an officer of the Court,and law school principals are given special powers under law to effectively veto any law graduates application to be admitted to practise for reasons that can be kept confidential. 

The NSW LPAB has created a situation where a foreign entity can interfere with and influence Australia's judicial system. 

That entity  has shown a willingness to further the cause of the Peoples Republic Of China and the Communist Party Of China even if it means defying law enforcement agencies, a fact that the NSW LPAB seems happy to ignore. Indeed, the NSW LPAB and its chairman consider themselves skilled in international affairs.

As previously reported, Minister Tehan's blunt instruments will have to be applied to the NSW LPAB , and the senior lawyers who comprise it, including its chairman, the Chief Justice Of NSW Tom Bathurst.


Top Group IPO a classic case of license trading: Post IPO spike & collapse in market cap raises obvious questions about any political party beneficiaries ,but Peter Hall & ICAC not interested

by Ganesh Sahathevan

The graph above shows the movements in Zhu Minshen's Top Group's share price since its IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

It is easy to see that there was an initial spike after which share price and market capitalisation collapsed.

Anyone familiar with Asian markets will see that the Top Group listing and movement in share price follows the well trodden path of companies that list as soon as hard to get approvals are obtained and then sold via an IPO. In the case of Top Group the relevant approval was the "first and only" license to grant Australian law degrees granted a private company, granted by the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board,after consultation with the Law Council Australia.

It has already been shown on this blog that the granting of that license coincided with donations from Top and Zhu to the NSW Liberal Party. Consequently a inquiry into who the beneficiaries of the IPO were seems a logical step for an inquiry into political donations in NSW, but not it seems for Peter Hall QC and ICAC.

Peter Hall QC and ICAC have been provided information about Top Group by Dr Amen Lee, but ICAC will still not call Zhu Minshen


TOP Education Institute's Bachelor of Laws : Political donations,HK Stock Exchange IPO seem to have left regulators confounded, speechless


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