Yuen, Tong appointed 'watchdogs'

Top News | Wallis Wang 15 Jul 2020

Former secretary for justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung and the chairman of the University Grants Committee, Carlson Tong Ka-shing, have been appointed observers to the Cathay Pacific Airways board to oversee the HK$27.3 billion government bailout.

Yuen and Tong do not have voting rights, but they can attend and express their opinions at all board meetings. They will also have access to management and all information about the company, the government said.

Tong was chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission from 2012 to 2018 and a board member of the Airport Authority from 2017 to 2020.

Yuen was justice secretary from 2012 to 2018, and is now a member of the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said the two are suitable to serve as board observers.

"I am confident that they will help safeguard the government's investment interest in the Cathay Group," Chan said in a statement.

The HK$27.3 bailout package the government invested in June consisted of HK$19.5 billion in preference shares with detachable warrants and a HK$7.8 billion bridging loan.

The government has said it hoped to uphold Hong Kong's status as an international aviation hub amid the Covid-19 pandemic by supporting the city's air industry.

The Cathay Pacific Group said it received the notice from the government yesterday.

Its chairman, Patrick Healy, said the company welcomes the designation of Tong and Yuen as observers and will work with them closely.

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