PAX CFO Resigns After Throwing Macquarie Analyst Out of Meeting

  • Resignation takes immediate effect; Co. didn’t name successor
  • Lee says he’d like to rest well and reflect on himself

PAX Global Technology Ltd.’s chief financial officer resigned a week after throwing an analyst out of an earnings briefing.

Chris Lee, who was also the joint company secretary of PAX Global, resigned due to personal reasons with immediate effect, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday. PAX Global didn’t name any successor to Lee in the statement and declined to comment when reached by phone on Wednesday.

In a video obtained by Bloomberg News, Lee can be seen standing over a seated Macquarie Group Ltd. analyst Timothy Lam and ordering him to leave the conference room on Aug. 10. Nomura Holdings Inc. cut its rating on the Hong Kong-based company, which makes point-of-sale payment systems, in an Aug. 10 report that was titled "CFO conduct disrupts shareholder value."

"No matter what the reasons behind it were, it was unacceptable," Lee said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. "I hope to take this opportunity to rest well, reflect on and improve myself. I also believe this is the best choice for the company."

Shares of PAX Global rose as much as 2.4 percent, the biggest intraday gain in a week, to HK$6.38 in Hong Kong on Wednesday. It has dropped 22 percent this year, compared with a 4.9 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Regrets Behavior

Macquarie’s Lam initiated coverage on PAX Global’s stock in April with an underweight rating, making him the only analyst out of 17 tracked by Bloomberg to have a bearish recommendation at the time. Lee told Bloomberg News on Aug. 10 the analyst was asked to leave because PAX Global disputes parts of his report, not because of the rating. The following day, Lee issued a statement saying he regretted his behavior, which was a "one-off" that didn’t reflect the management’s position.

PAX Global reported on Aug. 9 that its first-half net income climbed to HK$310.6 million ($40 million) from HK$309 million a year ago. Among the 19 analyst recommendations tracked by Bloomberg, 16 have a buy rating, one has neutral, while Macquarie and Nomura have bearish ratings.

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