Hong Kong bourse re­laxes main­land firms’ list­ing rules

The Pak Banker - - International3 -

HONG KONG: Hong Kong's stock ex­change has de­fended a de­ci­sion to let Chi­nese com­pa­nies list­ing on the ex­change use main­land ac­count­ing stan­dards and au­di­tors, say­ing it will in­crease ef­fi­ciency and re­duce costs.

How­ever the move came in for crit­i­cism Mon­day that it might lead stan­dards to slip.

In a state­ment Fri­day the bourse said the amend­ments to list­ing rules, which limit the Hong Kong reg­u­la­tor's abil­ity to tackle fraud, would take ef­fect Wed­nes­day this week.

The changes force the city's Se­cu­ri­ties and Fu­tures Com­mis­sion (SFC) to rely on main­land au­thor­i­ties to act against main­land au­di­tors sus­pected of wrong­do­ing. Pre­vi­ously, the SFC could hold the Hong Kong-based au­di­tor of a main­land com­pany listed in Hong Kong ac­count­able.

At present, main­land com­pa­nies must pre­pare one set of fi­nan­cial state­ments based on lo­cal stan­dards and an­other based on Hong Kong stan­dards, but the amend­ments al­low them the op­tion of pre­par­ing just one set. "This is ex­pected to in­crease mar­ket ef­fi­ciency and re­duce com­pli­ance costs of main­land in­cor­po­rated com­pa­nies listed in Hong Kong," Mark Dick­ens, Hong Kong Ex­changes and Clear­ing's head of list­ing, said in a state­ment.

How­ever Jamie Allen, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the Asian Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance As­so­ci­a­tion, told AFP the changes would add to un­cer­tainty for in­vestors. -Ap

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