Date
29 May 2017
St. Stephen’s College Preparatory School said parents who buy the notes are not assured that their children will be admitted. Photo: SSCPS website
St. Stephen’s College Preparatory School said parents who buy the notes are not assured that their children will be admitted. Photo: SSCPS website

Primary school eyes HK$200 mln from debentures sold to parents

St. Stephen’s College Preparatory School is set to raise HK$200 million from parents who applied to buy its HK$1 million fixed-term notes in a bid to enrol their kids in the private school’s Primary 1 classes.

As of last Friday, 200 parents submitted applications to buy the 12-year non-interest-bearing, non-negotiable, non-transferable and unsecured FTNs issued by St. Stephen’s Foundation Ltd., the school’s charitable institution.

Deputy principal Gordon Wong said the applicants must issue the checks for the notes by early July.

The school said buying the debentures would not ensure a place for their kids in the school’s Primary 1 classes for schoolyear 2016-17.

But still, parents believe that children of FTN holders will gain priority in admission over other applicants.

The school said funds raised from the sale of the FTNs will be managed by St. Stephen’s Foundation for steady investment.

All the interest income generated by the funds will be used for the long-term development of the school, it said.

Simon Lee, a senior lecturer at the school of accountancy of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the school could earn HK$500,000 in interests in three months from the HK$200 million fund.

It’s unfair for the parents if they pay the charges for the notes exchange, Lee said as he called on the government to supervise the school’s business practice.

The school said if FTN holders failed to get admission for their kids, they could recoup their HK$1 million investment, although interest and expenses for the notes exchange will be excluded.

Kids applying for admission into the school’s Primary 1 will have to undergo three interviews. 

Kids of FTN holders who pass the second round will be given priority to enter the final round in the middle of October. Quota for the final round is 32.

Those whose parents did not buy the notes will compete for another 100 openings in November.

The school, which was founded in 1938, admits around 130 students to Primary 1 each year, out of an average of 1,700 applicants.

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KZ/AC/CG

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