Monday, May 25, 2015

Cult Media Dragon John Hempton via TR

Vesna* Poljak of AFR fame has a very interesting story following up on TR's pointer...
 Hedge fund manager John Hempton has aired his experience of looking into Hanergy, the Hong Kong-listed solar company whose shares plunged in unexplained fashion last week. The company is now reportedly the target of an investigation into market manipulation.

Mr Hempton, who authors the cult markets blog Bronte Capital as well as managing money, published pictures on Friday of his visit to a Hanergy site in China around six weeks ago. The images show a largely idle factory where the main activity was gardening.
Since the shares were suspended, it has emerged that the chairman of Hanergy Thin Film Solar Group, Li Hejun, had increased short positions in the stock, betting the shares would fall.
Cult Media Dragon Hempton reveals observations on Hanergy

*The mythological Vesna represented spring in bohemian mythology and is still the poetic word for spring in the Slavic Slovenian and Slovak languages.

Spotting Image 1

“Hanergy barely existed”
Livewire via Zero Hedge, Bloomberg, Bronte Capital Blog

Some very strange things have occurred at Hanergy Thin Film in China, the company owned by China’s (former) richest man, Li Hejun. 1) The stock crashed by more than 50% in under one second last week. “Before its crash and indefinite trading suspension, Hanergy’s market value was higher than all other listed Chinese solar companies combined.” 2) Now it’s come to light that the owner, Li Hejun, was shorting the stock prior to, and at the time of the crash. 3) John Hempton, the Chief Investment Officer of Bronte Capital has revealed in a blog post on the weekend that he visited the main factory of Hanergy six weeks ago to find it “idle” and “entirely silent” with no signs of production. Hempton concludes that “there was essentially no production of solar cells at all" so "the accounts that suggest significant production and sales are entirely fraudulent.” I think we can all guess how this ends… but the bigger question is, how many similar stories are lurking out there?

For those following the Hanergy story, This post via Zero Hedge is also worth reading 

UK and China shortselling 

Bank of England Accidentally E-mails Brexit Plans to The Guardian Bloomberg

“The Verification Handbook for Investigative Reporting is a new guide to online search and research techniques to using user-generated content and open source information in investigations. Published by the European Journalism Centre, a GIJN member based in the Netherlands, the manual consists of ten chapters and is available for free download. We’re pleased to reprint below chapter 5, by investigative journalist Giannina Segnini.