Clearing system proposals offer extra choice
I refer to the Monitor column published (on February 14) under the headline 'Clearing system plans promise a paper chase'.
First of all, we would like to acknowledge with thanks your comments on the success of CCASS, but would like to clarify a few points in the column.
The corporate communications project and the investor participation project are two separate projects, however the major feature of both projects is the increased choice offered to investors.
The spirit of the corporate communications project is to give non-registered owners the same access to corporate information as registered owners.
The proposals for improved corporate communications recognise the increased volume of securities in the CCASS depository.
Securities deposited into the depository will be registered in the name of HKSCC Nominees Ltd and the owners of the securities will no longer be registered shareholders.
We need the written permission of investors, through CCASS broker and custodian participants, to give their names and addresses to company registrars in order for them to receive corporate communications directly from listed issuers.
The choice is made by the investors. It is certainly not a logical conclusion, as suggested in the column, that 'every underlying shareholder would receive voluminous documents incomprehensible to all but a few . . .' The proposals for investor participation in CCASS also offer additional choice to investors, including the choice to receive corporate communications directly from listed issuers.
Investors will have the free choice whether or not to participate and take advantage of the benefits that CCASS provides.
The intention behind both projects is not to alter the relationship between companies and the shareholders, but to the contrary, to provide a means through which the companies may interact with the ultimate beneficial shareholders.
BETTY CHAN Assistant Director Corporate Communications Department