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Tech Pro chairman's woes mount as Amex sues over black-card debt
[HONG KONG] Tech Pro Technology chairman Li Wing Sang, who has been under siege from creditors since the company's stock dropped by more than 90 per cent last year, was sued by American Express Co over unpaid charges on his Centurion credit card of nearly half a million dollars.
Li Wing Sang owed HK$3.48 million (about S$633,600) on the credit card as of Jan 9, according to court documents dated Jan 18. The address shown for Li is the same as Tech Pro's office address, although it doesn't name Tech Pro as a defendant.
The filing follows a string of legal proceedings against the chairman after a short seller's report in July sent Tech Pro shares plunging. The company demanded an apology, saying Glaucus Research's report "has no merit" and is "defamatory." Tech Pro shares have fallen 93 per cent since the report was published.
Tech Pro didn't reply to an e-mailed request for comment sent outside normal business hours.
Credit Suisse Group AG, China International Capital Corp and SinoPac Securities Corp made claims against Li in connection with HK$118.2 million of debt, according to lawsuits filed in Hong Kong's High Court from August 4 to Sept 5. Citic Securities Brokerage (HK) Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Citic Securities International, filed a claim seeking to commence bankruptcy proceedings against Li on Sept 12, according to a court document seen by Bloomberg News.
Tech Pro had no comment on Li's personal affairs, an external public relations spokeswoman for the company told Bloomberg at the time.
The secretive Centurion card - often called a black card - is one of Amex's most exclusive products. These top-end cards, used mainly by customers in the entertainment industry, are reserved for those spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Li, who owned 1.38 billion shares in Tech Pro before the Glaucus Research report was published, has since reduced his holdings to 589.7 million shares as of November 7, according to disclosure of interests filings to Hong Kong's stock exchange. That stake was valued at HK$100.2 million as of Wednesday's close.