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Accounting news

August 2018

Cryptocurrency producer plans Hong Kong IPO

Beijing-based Bitmain Technologies, the world’s largest producer of cryptocurrency mining chips, is planning a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as US$3 billion. The company, founded by 32-year-old Jihan Wu, designs chips known as application-specific integrated circuits, which are ideal for number crunching required by cryptocurrency miners. A listing could give the company, which controls an estimated 80 percent of the market for mining gear, the extra funding needed to explore other industries such as artificial intelligence, according to media reports. “The challenge is advancing our technology beyond what we’ve already achieved,” Wu said in an interview with Bloomberg in May.

Exxon face suit over climate-change accounting

American oil giant Exxon Mobil face a lawsuit by investors who claim that the company’s shares dropped on the disclosure that regulators were scrutinizing its reserve accounting related to climate change, Bloomberg reported this month. The United States District Court Judge denied Exxon’s bid to dismiss the suit, and wrote that the Greater Pennsylvania Carpenters Pension Fund sufficiently pleaded securities fraud claims against the company and several of its executives, including former chief executive officer Rex Tillerson. Investors said the company refused to write down any of its oil and gas reserves in the face of declining oil prices.

KPMG: companies not taking ESG seriously

Some Hong Kong-listed companies are failing to see the value of environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting and are treating it as a box-ticking exercise, says KPMG, according to the South China Morning Post. “Like financial statements, if you only give the numbers without explaining the details, the readers cannot appreciate the substance of the performance,” Patrick Chu, Head of Business Reporting and Sustainability at KPMG, and an Institute member, was quoted as saying. A compliance review report issued by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing in May revealed that only 38 percent of 400 listed companies complied on all 11 ESG aspects in their first report after the requirements came into effect in 2016.

EY taps into legal services

EY in the United Kingdom has acquired Riverview Law, a London-based provider of legal services, the firm announced on 7 August. The acquisition of Riverview Law will extend the existing EY Law offering and add talent in legal innovation and operating model transformation. The law firm will be known as EY Riverview Law once the acquisition is complete, with EY Global Head of Alliances for Tax, Chris Price, as its Chief Executive Officer.