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看好朝鲜,吉姆·罗杰斯的投资指南不适合胆小者

更新时间:2017-3-7 10:51:03 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Jim Rogers, Intrepid Investor, Finds Bumpy Road to North Korea
看好朝鲜,吉姆·罗杰斯的投资指南不适合胆小者

HONG KONG — China was an economic backwater when Jim Rogers began traveling its dusty byways more than three decades ago. Still, Mr. Rogers, a former partner of George Soros, saw its promise.

香港——三十多年前,吉姆·罗杰斯(Jim Rogers)开始在中国尘土飞扬的偏僻小路上旅行时,它还是一个闭塞落后的国家。不过,乔治·索罗斯(George Soros)的这位前合伙人看到了它的希望。

Today, Mr. Rogers, 74, doles out advice to China’s rising investor class at financial seminars, where he often draws a crowd. Part of his message involves another unloved market, where he sees promise despite authoritarian leadership and international sanctions: North Korea.

如今,74岁的罗杰斯在金融研讨会上向中国不断增长的投资阶层提供建议,他经常能吸引很多观众。他的部分信息涉及另一个不被看好的市场:朝鲜。尽管那里实行独裁统治,遭到国际制裁,但他在那里看到了希望。

“It’s very exciting. The kid has been opening up North Korea,” Mr. Rogers said in an interview, referring to Kim Jong-un, the country’s ruler.

“这非常令人兴奋。这孩子一直在开放朝鲜,”罗杰斯在接受采访时提到该国统治者金正恩(Kim Jong-un)时说。

But North Korea can be a murky place to tread — as Mr. Rogers’s experience shows.

但朝鲜可能是一个晦暗不清的地方,罗杰斯的经历表明了这一点。

A Hong Kong company called Unaforte that is involved in several North Korean businesses named Mr. Rogers as a shareholder a year ago, according to a corporate filing. Investing in a North Korean business like that would probably violate American sanctions if it happened now, though experts say it was legal at the time.

与朝鲜几家公司有业务联系的香港旺福特有限公司(Unaforte)的备案文件显示,一年前,它将罗杰斯列为股东。如果是现在,投资这样一家朝鲜公司很可能违反美国的制裁规定,不过专家们认为在当时是合法的。

Mr. Rogers said he gave Unaforte $100 as a token of good will but never expected that it would name him as a shareholder. Asked about his stake in the company in October, he interrupted an interview with The New York Times to call Unaforte and told the English-speaking sister of its founder that the company had agreed he could not be a shareholder.

罗杰斯称,他给了旺福特100美元,作为善意的象征,但从没期望成为股东。去年10月,他在接受《纽约时报》采访时被问及他在该公司的股份,他打断采访,给旺福特致电,告诉其创始人会讲英语的妹妹,该公司曾同意他不能被列为股东。

Speaking into his phone, Mr. Rogers said, “I know I have told you, ‘Never, never, never.’”

罗杰斯对着电话说,“要知道我已经告诉过你,‘绝不,绝不,绝不。’”

Unaforte no longer lists Mr. Rogers as a shareholder in its filings but will not release shareholder records that might show more details about the shares given to Mr. Rogers. Officials at Hong Kong’s corporate registry said they were investigating whether Unaforte is complying with the city’s disclosure laws. Unaforte did not respond to emailed questions for comment.

在公司申报文件中,旺福特不再将罗杰斯列为股东,但它没有公布股东记录,而那也许能显示罗杰斯持股的更多详情。香港公司注册处的官员表示,他们正在调查旺福特是否遵守该市的披露法律。旺福特没有回复要求置评的电子邮件。

Investing in North Korea is not for the faint of heart. Many countries heavily restrict what foreign companies and investors can do there. With records in North Korea inaccessible to most outsiders, claims there cannot be easily verified. Intrepid overseas investors have little choice but to work through middle men, often based in China.

胆小的人不适合在朝鲜投资。许多国家严格限制外国公司和投资者在朝鲜的行为。大部分外来者无法获得朝鲜的相关记录,所以其权利的主张在那里很难得到核实。胆大的国外投资者别无选择,只能通过中国的中间人。

“A lot of times there are these very, very murky series of transactions that need to occur where you may not know who your partners are,” said J. R. Mailey, a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins’s U.S.-Korea Institute in Washington, who has studied fraudulent investment in North Korea.

“很多时候,在很多需要发生的非常阴暗的交易中,你可能不知道自己的商业伙伴是谁,”华盛顿约翰·霍普金斯大学(Johns Hopkins University)美韩研究所的访问学者J·R·麦利(J. R. Mailey)说。麦利研究过朝鲜的欺诈投资案例。

Others who saw promise in North Korea have retreated. One firm that counted as an investor a high-profile North Korea bull, James Passin, ended a joint venture there in January because of tightened American sanctions.

其他曾在朝鲜看到希望的人已经撤退。今年1月,迫于美国加强制裁,一家将高调看好朝鲜的詹姆斯·帕辛(James Passin)列为投资人的公司最终关闭了在朝鲜设立的一家合资公司。

Still, for some, the attraction can be considerable. Asia’s fast-growing economies are now well-trod ground, leaving fewer opportunities to get in early and make it big.

不过,对有些人来说,朝鲜的吸引力是巨大的。亚洲快速增长的经济体现在都已经过深度开发,没有留下多少早期进入并做大的机会。

“The country is like an El Dorado that lures people in,” Mr. Mailey said. “They’re willing to risk everything because the payout is so high.”

“这个国家像埃尔多拉多一样诱惑着人们,”麦利说,“他们愿意冒各种险,因为回报丰厚。”

In interviews, Mr. Rogers said his relationship with Unaforte was distant. He said he spoke at investor events held in mainland China by Unaforte and companies controlled by its founder, Zhao Chunhui, about North Korea, among many other subjects. “I make speeches for hundreds of people,” Mr. Rogers said. He declined to disclose the amount of his speaking fees.

在采访中,罗杰斯称自己与旺福特关系疏远。他说,他在旺福特及其创始人招春晖控制的多家公司在中国内地举办的投资活动中谈到过朝鲜等很多话题。“我面向数百人发言,”罗杰斯说。他拒绝透露演讲费金额。

Mr. Zhao appeared to see his relationship with Mr. Rogers differently. In Chinese-language marketing materials and on social media, Mr. Zhao called himself “Jim Rogers’s business partner in China.” A fund promoted at speaking engagements organized by Mr. Zhao or his businesses referred to Mr. Rogers as a shareholder.

招春晖似乎对自己与罗杰斯的关系有不同看法。在中文营销材料和社交媒体上,招春晖称自己是“吉姆·罗杰斯的中国合伙人”。招春晖或其公司组织的演讲活动中推介的一个基金将罗杰斯列为股东。

The fund and Unaforte posted photos of Mr. Rogers signing and posing with a document titled “shareholder contract” online, announcing in Chinese that Mr. Rogers had become a shareholder. One advertising banner featuring Mr. Rogers reads, “Be a shareholder along with Jim Rogers.”

该基金和旺福特在网上发布了罗杰斯签署一份名为《股东合同》的文件并与其合影的照片,还以中文宣布罗杰斯已成为股东。一个印有罗杰斯肖像的广告横幅写道:“和罗杰斯一起做股东。”

Chinese corporate records show no evidence that Mr. Rogers owns shares in the fund, called Gold Quantum.

中国的公司记录没有证据表明,罗杰斯持有这个名为金量子(Gold Quantum)的基金的股份。

Then there was Unaforte’s share allocation to Mr. Rogers. The American investor said he gave Unaforte $100 as a gesture of good will. “It was a token investment once upon a time,” Mr. Rogers said.

然后就是旺福特分配给罗杰斯的股份问题。这位美国投资者称,他给了旺福特100美元,作为善意的表示。“它是从前的一次象征性投资,”罗杰斯说。

Unaforte then made Mr. Rogers a shareholder. According to a Hong Kong filing, it allocated Mr. Rogers shares representing a stake of more than 1 percent in Unaforte.

旺福特从而把罗杰斯变成了股东。根据香港的一份文件,它给罗杰斯分配了逾1%的股份。

While the stake is valued at $19,000 on paper, its true value is not clear. On its website, which went offline after The Times began to ask about its businesses, Unaforte said it operated a bank and was building an office park there, and said it owned a stake in a gold mine. Outside of North Korea, the website listed a jewelry-making operation in the Chinese city of Guangzhou and in Italy, a real estate investment in Italy and retail jewelry operations in Hawaii.

虽然这些股份的纸面价值为1.9万美元,但它的真正价值并不清楚。旺福特在自己的网站上声称它在朝鲜经营一家银行,并在修建一个办公园区,还说它拥有一个金矿的股份。该网站声称,在朝鲜之外,该公司在中国广州市和意大利经营珠宝制作业务,在意大利投资房地产,在夏威夷经营珠宝零售业务。在《纽约时报》开始询问该公司的业务后,该网站下线。

The shares were allocated to Mr. Rogers in February 2016, one month before the American government tightened sanctions on North Korea, effectively barring its citizens from any business that might benefit the government there.

这些股票是2016年2月分配给罗杰斯的,就在美国政府加紧对朝鲜的制裁之前一个月——那些制裁严厉禁止美国公民经营任何可能使朝鲜政府获利的业务。

“It’s not clear to me that anything Rogers did is illegal,” said Joshua Stanton, a Washington-based lawyer who follows United States sanctions imposed on the country and has helped draft some of them. “It would be now.”

“我不确定罗杰斯之前的行为是否违法,”华盛顿律师乔舒亚·斯坦顿(Joshua Stanton)说。他熟悉美国对朝鲜的制裁,并帮助起草了其中一些。“但是放到现在,肯定是违法的。”

Mr. Rogers said he sent a letter to Unaforte asking that it return his $100 and take back an unspecified number of shares. It was dated March 17, 2016, a day after President Obama signed an executive order imposing new sanctions on North Korea.

罗杰斯称,他给旺福特发了一封信,要求退还他的100美元,并收回未说明具体数字的股份。发信日期是2016年3月17日,就在奥巴马总统签署了对朝鲜实施新制裁的行政法令之后一天。

A copy of the letter that Mr. Rogers shared with The New York Times was stamped by Hong Kong tax authorities on Sept. 29, the day after The Times first asked Unaforte about Mr. Rogers’s stake in the company. Mr. Rogers said Unaforte told him it delayed getting the stamp because one was required only before the end of the company’s fiscal year, which was Sept. 30.

罗杰斯与《纽约时报》分享的那封信的副本上有香港税务机关9月29日盖的章,就在时报首次向旺福特询问罗杰斯在该公司的持股情况之后一天。罗杰斯称,旺福特对他说,它延迟盖章是因为只要在公司财政年度于9月30日结束之前盖章即可。

Mr. Rogers, who does not read Chinese, also said he asked Mr. Zhao to remove mentions of him as a shareholder, and said companies in China and elsewhere often claim falsely to be associated with him. “We have a never-ending battle with things like this all over the world, as do others,” he said in an email.

罗杰斯不懂中文。他还表示,他曾要求招春晖删除将他列为股东的内容,他还说,中国和其他地方的公司经常错误地声称与他有关系。他在接受邮件采访时说,“我们和其他人一样,在与世界各地的此类情况进行无尽的斗争。”

Mr. Rogers said he was comfortable with other statements by Mr. Zhao’s companies about him. His Chinese-speaking staff members reviewed them, he said, and “my guys are extremely protective of my name.” Mr. Zhao’s companies removed some references to Mr. Rogers following inquiries.

罗杰斯表示,他对招春晖的公司对他的其他陈述感到满意。他说,他懂中文的工作人员审查了那些陈述,“我的人非常保护我的声誉。”招春晖的公司按要求删除了一些提及罗杰斯的内容。

Unaforte is one of a generally quiet group of companies that use China as a jumping-off point to invest in North Korea. Such companies sometimes come under official scrutiny from the United States and China alike.

旺福特是以中国为跳板在朝鲜投资的多家公司之一。这些总体低调的公司有时受到美国和中国的官方审视。

Its sole director is the 44-year-old Mr. Zhao, who also goes by Willam Zhao.

该公司唯一的董事是44岁的招春晖,他的英文名是威廉·招(Willam Zhao)。

Documents show Mr. Zhao is a Chinese national but also a citizen of the Dominican Republic. He has identified himself on one of his social media accounts as the chairman of First Eastern Bank, which is incorporated in the North Korean special economic zone of Rason and which Unaforte says it operates.

文件显示招春晖是中国国民,但也是多米尼加共和国公民。他在一个社交媒体账户上称自己是第一东方银行(First Eastern Bank)的董事长,该银行位于朝鲜罗先(Rason)经济特区,旺福特称该银行在其旗下。

Mr. Zhao also has an office in Guangzhou, for the mainland-registered Unaforte company. When visited by a Times reporter last fall, that office featured a poster of Mr. Zhao arm in arm with Mr. Rogers.

招春晖在广州也有一个办事处,也就是在内地注册的旺福特公司。去年秋天,时代记者造访该办事处时,那里挂着招春晖和罗杰斯挽着手臂的海报。

In an interview, Mr. Rogers said he did not recall how he first met Mr. Zhao. “He seems to be doing a lot in North Korea,” Mr. Rogers said. “He says it’s profitable.”

罗杰斯在接受采访时表示,他不记得自己最初是怎么认识招春晖的。“他似乎在朝鲜有很多生意,”罗杰斯说,“他说很赚钱。”

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