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Hong Kong Intelligence Report #108 地產黨施永青出賣合謀定價夥伴美聯的背景

Open-source intelligence (OSINT)

Hong Kong Intelligence Report #108 地產黨施永青出賣合謀定價夥伴美聯的背景
FILE PHOTO: Property for Sale © Envato

🔻 IMPORTANT 【重要】合謀定價 Cartel


港媒照樣並沒有明確指摘的一些事實是:


▪️ 中原地產是利嘉閣地產,是因為中原擁有它的主要股權。那麼,美聯地產也就是香港置業,是因為它的母公司。結局,在地產黨中,就地產代理商的範疇而言,香港境內的寡頭是指中原和美聯,因此,在地產代理商層面上,香港樓市也早已形成了寡占,壟斷市場。重點是,壟斷市場絕非自由市場,寡占否定競爭的存在。香港樓市光就此層面而言,也就是相當僵硬的不健康狀態。換言之,香港所謂自由市場則是指壟斷資本自己的自由。


▪️ 在寡占的香港樓市,如今成為話題的合謀定價案,絕非四家,而歸根結底是兩大寡頭之間的合謀定價/卡特爾(Cartel)。所謂合謀定價之外,這同時還牽涉到托拉斯(Trust), 康采恩(Concern)等香港典型的三大壟斷型態(反競爭行為)。中原美聯都擁有轄下金融機構(中原金融集團; 鋑聯控股有限公司)擔當控股公司的角色來拓展市場影響力,其壟斷模式足以構成康彩恩Concern)的概念。即在兩大地產代理商身為康彩恩所進行的合謀定價(卡特爾)是這次被揭發的案件。它並非他們自己陳述的激烈競爭的存在為背景,而合謀定價是否定掉競爭本身的壟斷行為,就是在根本沒有自由競爭可言的寡占之下,進一步扼殺競爭可能性的反競爭行為。此次是,地產代理商典型的回傭金額在兩大寡頭之間統一後,造成了一手樓消費者的議價權利,比對不同企業價格之間的自由權利都被扼殺了。只有兩大寡頭收受地產發展商的代理出售佣金後,對一手樓買手的回贈價格被統一,它通常是較貴的價格,買手就失去了更便宜,更有利回贈的選擇和可能性。其實,所謂地產代理商的回贈,從購買樓價折扣的優惠部分是在二手樓銷售也存在的。問題是,此次競爭事務委員會檢舉的是特定壟斷行為的合謀定價而已,而並非恆常做出合謀定價的康采恩(Concern)的反競爭型態/行為本身。治標不治本。甚至,兩大合謀者中,地產黨主要人物之一,中原地產/媒體House730的施永青及其中原地產=利嘉閣地產都完全脫罪,被放生‘寬免’了。這經濟犯罪就凸顯了官商勾結,裙帶資本主義,官商共治的新自由主義的政治本色。


▪️ CONSUMER COUNCIL 消委會

Kwok, Larry Lam Kwong 郭琳廣 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=2125

Kwok, Miranda Pui Fong 郭珮芳 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=57717


▪️ HKSAR Justices of the Peace (non-gov) 香港特別行政區非官守太平紳士

Chan, Ceajer Ka Keung 陳家強 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=18733

Cheng, Leonard Kwok Hon 鄭國漢 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=25915

Kwok, Larry Lam Kwong 郭琳廣 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=2125

Kwok, Miranda Pui Fong 郭珮芳 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=57717

Lau Macpherson, Ayesha Abbas 劉麥嘉軒 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=22407

Leung, Andrew Kwan Yuen 梁君彥 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=17052

Wong, Albert Kwai Huen 王桂壎 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=31305


▪️ HONG KONG HOUSING AUTHORITY (THE) 香港房屋委員會

Kwok, Dennis Wing Hang 郭榮鏗 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=37397

▪️ HKSAR Task Force on Economic Challenges 香港特別行政區經濟機遇委員會

Lau Macpherson, Ayesha Abbas 劉麥嘉軒 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=22407


▪️ HKSAR Commission on Strategic Development 香港特別行政區策略發展委員會

Leung, Andrew Kwan Yuen 梁君彥 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=17052



主席 Chan, Samuel Ka Yan 陳家殷 https://webb-site.com/dbpub/positions.asp?p=25814


委員


▪️ 本港政治體制中,最臃腫的是法定機構。其中充斥了多重公職霸主們。與立法會比起來,港府官僚透過法定機構擬定和實施政策一事突顯法定機構分散了原來屬於政府公務員的功能,而法定機構嚴重被資本滲透和霸佔。作為政治權力機構的法定機構如此形成了朋黨大聯盟。就美聯-中原合謀定價事件顯示了競爭事務委員會中,在其成員霸佔的多重法定機構中,與施永青有共同點的人員有5名,最有共同處的是其主席Chan, Samuel Ka Yan 陳家殷。


寬免和放生施永青的過程必定是內情先透漏給施永青所致。最大可能的朋黨管道,也就是與施永青有最多共同處的是消委會的脈絡。那包括Chan, Samuel Ka Yan 陳家殷,因此寬免程序如此順利進行,施永青出賣合謀夥伴美聯的背後必定不可忽視法定機構形成的朋黨偽紳士關係。


As usual, the Hong Kong media have not explicitly pointed out some facts:


▪️ Centaline Properties is Ricacorp Properties because Centaline owns a major stake in it. Then, Midland Realty is Hong Kong Land because it is its parent company. In the end, in the real estate party, as far as the real estate agents are concerned, the oligarchs in Hong Kong are Centaline and Midland. Therefore, at the level of the real estate agents, the Hong Kong property market has already formed an oligopoly, a monopoly market. The point is that a monopolized market is by no means a free market, and an oligopoly negates the existence of competition. At this level alone, the Hong Kong property market is in a rather rigid and unhealthy state. In other words, the so-called free market in Hong Kong refers to the freedom of monopolizing capital.


▪️ In the oligopolistic Hong Kong property market, the pricing collusion that has become the talk of the town is not just four entities, but is ultimately a pricing collusion between the two big oligopolies/Cartel. In addition to the so-called collusive pricing, it also involves the three monopolies (anti-competitive behavior) typical of Hong Kong, such as Trust and Concern. Both Centaline and Midland have financial institutions under their management (Centaline Financial Group and Legend Upstar Holdings Limited) that act as holding companies to expand their market influence, and their monopoly patterns are sufficient to constitute the concept of Concern. That is, the collusive pricing (cartels) carried out by the two major real estate agents in their capacity as Concern is the case that has been uncovered. It is not against the background of the existence of fierce competition as they themselves stated, but rather, collusive pricing is monopolistic behavior that negates competition itself, that is, anti-competitive behavior that further stifles the possibility of competition in the face of an oligopoly where there is no free competition at all. In this case, the standardization of the amount of the typical commission paid by estate agents between the two oligopolies has resulted in the stifling of the right of first-hand consumers to bargain and the freedom to compare prices between different firms.


Only after the two big oligopolies receive the commission from the real estate developers, the rebate price for the buyers of first-hand flats is standardized, which is usually the more expensive price, and the buyers are deprived of the options and possibilities of cheaper and more favourable rebates. In fact, the so-called rebates from estate agents and discounts on the purchase price of the property are partly present in the sale of second-hand flats as well. The problem is that the Competition Commission is only citing the collusive pricing of a specific monopoly, not the anti-competitive pattern/behavior of concern, which is a constant source of collusive pricing. As if it is not the anti-competitive attitude/behavior of concern that is the constant source of the price fixing. Even one of the two main conspirators, Shih Wing-chin of Centaline Properties/Media House730 and his Centaline Properties = Ricacorp Properties, are completely exonerated and have been given a 'free pass'. This economic crime highlights the political nature of neo-liberalism of collusion between business and the government, crony capitalism, and co-rule between business and the government.


▪️ The most bloated part of our political system is the statutory bodies. They are filled with multiple public service overlords. The fact that Hong Kong government bureaucrats formulate and implement policies through statutory bodies, as opposed to the Legislative Council, highlights the fact that statutory bodies are a distraction from the functions of the civil service, and that they are heavily infiltrated and dominated by the capital. Statutory bodies, as organs of political power, have thus formed crony alliances. The Midland-Centaline collusion in price fixing shows that among the multiple statutory bodies occupied by their members in the Competition Commission, there are five persons in common with Shih Wing-ching, and the one with whom they have the most in common is their Chairperson, Chan, Samuel Ka Yan.


The process of waiving and releasing Shih Wing-ching must have been caused by the leakage of inside information to Shih Wing-ching first. The most likely cronyism channel, that is, the one that has the most in common with Shih Wing-ching, is the Consumer Council's network. That includes Chan, Samuel Ka Yan, so for the waiver process to have gone so smoothly, the crony pseudo-gentleman relationship formed by the statutory body behind Shih Wing-ching 's betrayal of his co-conspirator, Midland, must not have been overlooked.


🔻 NEWS / FACTs 【事實關係】


▪️(11/15/2023) 目前樓市一潭死水,發展商開售新盤都要割價傾銷,原擬向買家提供更高回佣,又被地產代理變相袋落袋,只會令樓市更一蹶不振,競委會出手無可厚非。問題是,最大代理之一的中原竟免被起訴,是否公平?競委會一味強調做法符合寬待協議,有助他們更快破案,但對於被告之一的美聯有否申請寬待,競委會堅拒透露,只表示美聯及中原分別在今年3月及2月取消有關安排,又重申寬待政策只接受首個申請者。以中原老闆跟官場中人素有交情,又身兼多項公職,當中會否別有內情甚至特權,怎能不令人浮想聯翩?競委會含糊其詞,恐怕難以釋除外界疑慮。


▪️(11/15/2023)根據競委會的入稟狀,被告包括美聯物業代理有限公司、香港置業(地產代理)有限公司、美聯集團有限公司、美聯集團董事總經理兼執行董事黃靜怡、美聯物業住宅部行政總裁(港澳)布少明、美聯物業住宅部港島區董事李頌賢、美聯物業住宅部營運總監張子存及美聯旗下香港置業行政總裁馬泰陽。


▪️(11/15/2023)至於中原因為首先向競委會提出申請寬待政策,以提供重大協助,配合調查,因而不獲競委會展開任何法律行動。李曉亮解釋,如果有當事人或涉事者願意提供合作,可以令競委會搜證方面大大提高效率。
他說,不是所有企業都能申請寬待政策,例如如果是案中唯一主謀,或曾用手段迫使其他競爭者合謀,都不能申請。而當企業申請寬待政策,責任非常大,要協助競委會調查、提供文件、安排職員及董事與競委會會面等。


▪️(11/15/2023)競爭事務委員會入禀控告美聯物業、香港置業,以及母公司美聯集團和5名高層,涉連同中原地產及利嘉閣合謀定價合謀限定一手新樓回佣水平。競委會行政總監李曉亮在一個電台節目表示,涉事的中原地產和同集團的利嘉閣不予起訴,是因為兩間代理都向競委會提供資料協助調查,大幅減少競委會的搜證工作。李曉亮指,地產代理招攬買家時,會推銷如買一手樓可以得到一定成數回佣,如果地產代理之間協調了回佣水平,買家可獲的回佣就會較少,變相要支付較高樓價。他舉例指,1間1千萬元的新樓盤,如果地產代理有回佣協議,減少向買家回佣1%,涉及金額會達10萬元。


▪️(11/15/2023)競委會入稟競爭事務審裁處,指控美聯集團及旗下地產代理商美聯物業及香港置業,與5名美聯高層,協同制定代理最低佣金率。
入稟狀指,中原集團旗下的中原地產及利嘉閣地產,與美聯集團旗下美聯物業及香港置業為競爭對手,中原集團及美聯集團的高層在2022年10月至12月期間,曾多次開會就一手物業交易作討論,最終協議中原地產、利嘉閣地產、美聯物業及香港置業均採取同一政策,指示其代理必須在一手物業交易收取最少2%的實收佣金。
《競爭條例》「第一行為守則」規定市場參與者之間不得訂立妨礙、限制或扭曲在香港的競爭安排。競委會要求審裁處宣布美聯集團、美聯物業及香港置業違反《競爭條例》「第一行為守則」,下令3間公司需罰款及採取若干合規措施,並要求下令5名美聯高層支付罰款及取消董事資格。


🔻 COMMENT 【評語】


地產黨中原-美聯合謀定價案揭示了金融黨控制的競爭事務委員會也仍是法定機構形成的朋黨大聯盟一環。它也只做治標不治本,甚至放生了與其法定機構成員有不少共同處的合謀人之一施永青及其中原=利嘉閣地產。甚至,兩大地產代理商壟斷的寡占狀態依然如故。本事件和其結尾都證實了香港市場是壟斷市場,而非自由市場。這也是尚未改革法定機構所致。多重公職霸主們仍然當道。在經濟上的合謀也就是在政治上的合謀。我們看到的就是這麼個現實。


The Real Estate Party's Midland - Centaline collusion on pricing case reveals that the Competition Commission controlled by the Finance Party also remains part of the crony grand coalition formed by the statutory body. It also only treats the symptoms but not the root cause, even letting loose one of the conspirators who had much in common with members of its statutory body, Shih Wing-chin and his Centaline = Ricacorp Properties. Even the oligopoly of the two major estate agents' monopoly remains intact. This incident and its conclusion confirm that the Hong Kong market is a monopoly, not a free market. This is also due to the fact that statutory bodies have yet to be reformed. Multiple statutory holders are still in power. Economic collusion is also political collusion. This is the reality we see.



Hong Kong Intelligence Report #108 地產黨施永青出賣合謀定價夥伴美聯的背景

 

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