CY Leung, the chief executive of Hong Kong, took a 4 million pound ($6.4 million) payment from Australian company UGL, according to a report in The Age, an Australian newspaper.
The payments were made in a two tranches after he took his post as Hong Kong's chief executive, the report said, noting the funds were related to UGL's acquisition of DTZ Holdings, an insolvent property services company.
Leung's spokesperson said the payments were related to his resignation from DTZ in 2011, not for any future service, according to the report.
"It was a non-compete and non-poach payment negotiated under normal commercial terms," UGL's spokesperson said via email in response to a request for comment from CNBC, adding the payment was not a secret. UGL also noted that at the time of negotiations, media coverage indicated other candidates were favored for the Hong Kong chief executive post.
The Hong Kong chief executive's office didn't immediately respond to an emailed request for comment from CNBC.