Given the rel­a­tively high in­ci­dence of cor­po­rate ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in­volv­ing Hong Kong-listed main­land firms, S-chip cor­po­rates and per­haps a few US-listed ones, in­vestor con­fi­dence in those com­pa­nies has al­ready weak­ened.”

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global IPO rank­ings, be­hind New York, home to the record Alibaba list­ing in Septem­ber. The SAR placed sec­ond in 2013 as well, be­hind New York but ahead of Lon­don.

Mean­while, the con­flict­ing roles of HKEx as both a ref­eree (reg­u­la­tor) and player (rev­enue-gen­er­at­ing listed com­pany) have led to a string of un­re­solved in­ter­est confl which have cre­ated frag­men­ta­tion in de­vis­ing a co­her­ent reg­u­la­tory frame­work, ob­served Wong at SPACE.

How­ever, Wong does not think it is easy to make in­sti­tu­tional changes.

A change of mind­set also means the founder and ma­jor share­hold­ers must re­al­ize that the com­pany is no longer their per­sonal prop­erty. They can­not sim­ply trans­fer money in and out with bankers be­tween Hong Kong and the main­land at will, noted Ding.

“Ad­mit­tedly, top man­age­ment have huge pow­ers to af­fect com­pany op­er­a­tions or to over­ride in­ter­nal con­trols. But peo­ple who work with or for them, mostly ac­coun­tants and au­di­tors, should shift their think­ing as well,” said Pa­trick Ye­ung, di­vi­sional past pres­i­den­tGreater China at CPA Australia.

The cur­rent reg­u­la­tory frame­work re­lies heav­ily on ac­coun­tants and au­di­tors, who are there­fore re­quired to carry a high de­gree of alert­ness, eth­i­cal stan­dards and public ac­count­abil­ity to help

chief ex­ec­u­tive, Hong Kong In­sti­tute of Cer­ti­fied Public Ac­coun­tants

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