• Certainty over clemency: English contract law in the face of financial crisis

      Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Leicester (Springer, 2016)
      This chapter has the objective to consider the legal implications of negative economic trends under English contract law in the aftermath of the global Financial Crisis of 2007–2008. Unlike other jurisdictions, most notably in civil law countries, the English position in the law governing a fundamental change in circumstances has remained narrow, that is, no relief will be granted unless it is an exceptional situation. The English courts deal with the issue either by the doctrine of frustration or through construing contractual force majeure provisions. Following the crisis, indeed there have been an increasing number of cases going down these avenues. Apart from relying on frustration or force majeure clause, another emerging phenomenon is that there has been a growth in allegations of misrepresentation and therefore requesting a rescission of contract. In either case, the aim of claimants is apparently trying to bring the contractual obligations to an end.
    • Chinese companies and the Hong Kong stock market

      Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Leicester (Routledge, 2013-10-04)
      Listing by companies from one country on the stock market of another country is a device often used both to raise capital in, and to increase bonding with, the target country. This book examines the listing by Chinese companies on the Hong Kong stock market. It discusses the extent of the phenomenon, compares the two different regulatory regimes, and explores the motivations for the cross-listing. It argues that a key factor, in addition to raising capital and bonding with the Hong Kong market, is Chinese companies’ desire to encourage legal and regulatory reforms along Hong Kong lines in mainland China, in order to develop and open up China’s domestic capital markets.
    • Coordinated efforts to regulate overseas listed Chinese companies: a historical perspective and recent developments

      Huang, Flora; Liu, Xinmin; Yeung, Horace; University of Essex (Taylor & Francis, 2017-07-04)
      Prestigious financial centres have attracted a number of Chinese companies seeking liquidity and international exposure (an example being the record- breaking IPO of Alibaba in the US). This article seeks to explore how the regulatory cooperation of securities commissions can be a solution to the concerns arising from the regulation of these companies, given the perceived weaknesses in the governance of Chinese companies and the difficulties of cross-border enforcement. One notable example of regulatory cooperation can be seen in how the regulators in Hong Kong and China have worked closely together. Meanwhile, other overseas exchanges have started to pay more attention to the regulatory issues arising from Chinese listings. In the literature on cross-listing, this paper is the first to present a holistic approach, taking into account both the importance and the popularity of cross-listing as well as the most recent regulatory challenges and solutions.
    • Institutional development and the Astana international financial center in Kazakhstan

      Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; Bekmurzayeva, Zhanyl; Janaidar, Dina; University of Leicester; University of Derby; Academy of Public Administration, Kazakhstan; KAZGUU University, Kazakhstan (Washington University, 2021-01)
      This article investigates the most recent instance of the transplantation of English corporate and financial law into a different legal environment. The Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) in Kazakhstan was launched in 2018. The AIFC has largely built on the institutional model pioneered by the Dubai International Financial Center. This key institutional innovation is the transplanting and operation of laws based on the English common law, independent of their national legal systems (civil law systems, heavily influenced by Islamic tradition, and, in the case of Kazakhstan, also Soviet socialist principles). This article seeks to contribute to the understanding of the system of Kazakhstan, a strategically located but well under-investigated country, and a potentially viable institutional model for other aspiring financial centers. To the best knowledge of the authors, this work is the first ever English academic literature on the development of the AIFC.
    • Institutional development and the Astana international financial center in Kazakhstan

      Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; Bekmurzayeva, Zhanyl; Janaidar, Dina; University of Essex (Washington University, 2020)
      This article investigates the most recent instance of the transplantation of English corporate and financial law into a different legal environment. The Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) in Kazakhstan was launched in 2018. The AIFC has largely built on the institutional model pioneered by the Dubai International Financial Center. This key institutional innovation is the transplanting and operation of laws based on the English common law, independent of their national legal systems (civil law systems, heavily influenced by Islamic tradition, and, in the case of Kazakhstan, also Soviet socialist principles). This article seeks to contribute to the understanding of the system of Kazakhstan, a strategically located but well under-investigated country, and a potentially viable institutional model for other aspiring financial centers. To the best knowledge of the authors, this work is the first ever English academic literature on the development of the AIFC.
    • Institutions and economic growth in Asia: The case of mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia

      Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Essex (Routledge, 2018-04-03)
      This book explores the role of institutions in economic growth, looking in particular at specific Asian countries and at particular cities within those countries. It considers a wide range of factors besides institutions, including the law, cultural factors and overall government arrangements. The differences between the countries studied are highlighted, and the impact of these differences assessed: the impact of English common law on arrangements in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia; sharia law in Malaysia; the differing lengths of time of colonial rule; the extent to which Chinese family businesses control an economy. Also studied are the degree to which the law is effectively applied, and a range of other social, economic and cultural factors. The book’s conclusions as to which factors have the greatest impact will be of considerable interest to economists of Asia and those interested in economic growth more widely.
    • Law–finance–growth nexus in the context of Africa

      Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Essex (De Gruyter, 2018-04-26)
      This article seeks to put the law–finance–growth nexus into the context of Africa. As of 2017, the African Securities Exchanges Association has 27 securities exchanges as full members. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is the most developed of all, especially with respect to its market capitalization. Its socio-legal proximity with the English system may provide a good explanation to its phenomenal growth relative to the rest in the region. However, such a socio-legal proximity is indeed shared by a number of other former British colonies such as Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Law alone may not account for the rise of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Furthermore, this article seeks to argue whether there is a genuine need for the African countries to have a stock market, which requires highly evolved legal, market and governmental institutions and norms that often do not pre-exist in these countries. On the one hand, the article will look at Africa in general. On the other hand, it will put certain discussions into the context of selected African countries.
    • One country two systems as bedrock of Hong Kong's continued success: Fiction or reality?

      Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Essex (Boston College, 2015-05-01)
      Despite the handover of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China in 1997, the principles of “one country two systems” reaffirmed the autonomy of Hong Kong in a number of respects. In accordance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration and Basic Law of Hong Kong, the city is able to enjoy a high degree of autonomy over the systems and policies practiced locally, including social and economic systems, as well as the executive, legislative and judicial systems. Additionally, with its image as a robust financial market largely thanks to the institutions inherited from its colonial era, Hong Kong is able to attract a number of financial activities from China and has firmly established itself as a leading international financial center. Nonetheless, there have been concerns that the advantages of Hong Kong started to fade after its reunification with China. This Article seeks to analyze how Hong Kong’s capitalist system shields the city from the socialist system of China under the principles of “one country two systems,” allowing the city to maintain its position as a premier financial center. It explores the regulatory gap between Hong Kong and China, illustrating that Hong Kong’s strength stems from the operation of a strong company and financial law regime independent of the legal regime in China.
    • The regulation of illegal fundraising in China

      Huang, Flora; Liu, Xinmin; Yeung, Horace; University of Essex (Taylor and Francis, 2018-10-03)
      The rise of financial technology means that it is easier than ever to raise funds from a large group of people, notably via peer-to-peer lending or crowdfunding platforms. This article seeks to discuss the law on illegal fundraising, which has existed for some time before the boom of the Internet, as a legal response to the increasing number of fundraising from the public. Regulation is necessary to ensure market order and investor protection. Virtually in all markets, there are restrictions on how entities can make a public offer of shares, bonds and/or other investment schemes. There are several laws, most notably criminal law, in China that are relevant to illegal fundraising. An individual/company can poten- tially breach one or more of these rules as long as they attempt to raise funds from a non-conventional (i.e. not stock markets or banks) route. The worst outcome of this used to be death penalty. There has been a degree of ambiguities in the application of these laws. The article will attempt to clarify these ambiguities. The regulation of illegal fundraising can have a far reaching conse- quence on the financial markets in China, considering that non- state entities, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, have limited access to conventional finance. The article will con- sider whether China is on the right track in terms of regulation to allow alternative fundraising channels to thrive. This article is the first ever to present a holistic account of the regulation of illegal fundraising in China.
    • Shareholder protection in China from a numerical comparative law perspective

      Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Essex; University of Leicester (Oxford Academic, 2019-04-16)
      The traditional approach in legal comparative research is doctrinal rule based. A relatively recent breakthrough has been the use of econometric techniques in comparing the extent of success in different jurisdictions with respect to, for example, protecting shareholders. The meshing of legal research and econometrics is known as ‘leximetrics’. One of the most prominent and widely cited use of leximetrics is the seminal study by Rafael La Porta and colleagues on the correlation between shareholder protection and financial development. The study, though highly influential, has attracted various criticisms. Subsequent studies have sought to build on the study by coming up with improved research design. For example, using a panel data set covering a range of developed and developing countries, researchers from the Cambridge Centre for Business Research have discovered that a significant upward movement in the level of shareholder protection was made by China between 1990 and 2013. It has been suggested that, during this period, China experienced the ‘biggest increase in shareholder protection’ among 30 countries studied, and China was amongst the top performers (along with France and Russia) in shareholder protection in 2013, performing even better than the United Kingdom and the USA. At the same time, the World Bank’s Protecting Minority Investors Index, which forms part of its Doing Business reports, has recently painted a rather opposite picture, in contrast to the positive assessment by the Centre for Business Research, by putting China in the 119th position out of 190 countries, which indicates a very mediocre performance. This article seeks to address the question of whether and how the two studies, both employing leximetric techniques and examining an ostensibly similar issue, can point to discrepant results.
    • Sino-African trade: A multi-layered appraisal

      Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Derby; University of Leicester (Electronic Publications, 2020-04)
      There are both believers and critics on the state and potential of Sino-African trade. For example, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is expected to benefit several African countries. At the same time, some critics refer to it as ‘debt trap diplomacy’ for China to politically and economically exploit the countries involved. Nearly a decade ago, China surpassed the US to become Africa’s largest trading partner. Sino-African trade is now four times larger than that of US-Africa. While the importance of Sino-African trade can be seen in the scale of trade and investment, this article at the same time concerns the legal, and also some non-legal mechanisms such as BRI and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, to take the bilateral/multilateral relations to the next level. Other than continental and country level perspectives, firm level considerations cannot be ignored. Chinese companies now dominate in certain Africa’s business sectors and are rapidly expanding into new sectors. There have been concerns regarding the behaviour of certain Chinese companies in Africa. Through a multi-level analysis, the article endeavours to form a comprehensive picture of the closer than ever Sino-African trade relations.
    • The “tech” of two cities: what Hong Kong failed but Shenzhen succeeded

      Huang, Flora; Yeung, Horace; University of Essex (Coller Capital, 2017-05-01)
      Shenzhen used to be a tiny town of around 30,000 people, north of the then prosperous British colony, Hong Kong, in southern China. The story is certainly entirely different now that Shenzhen is comparable to, if it has not already outshone its once proud neighbor. Shenzhen’s Nanshan district, home to a huge hi-tech industrial park, is now China’s richest, with a higher per capita GDP than even capitalist Hong Kong. This article will compare the two cities through the use of CIV city cases. It will discuss whether the institutional differences can help to explain the respective growth stories of the cities. Afterwards, the article will consider the prospects of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone, a national-level initiative to combine the core strengths of the two cities in an attempt to boost the existing technology center to a new level before a conclusion is drawn.