Exchange points to ICAC's lack of market knowledge

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 August, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 August, 1998, 12:00am

The stock exchange has queried whether the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) understands the way the market works well enough to impose tighter controls over it.

The ICAC has proposed turning the exchange into a public body to make members more accountable and to increase their fiduciary duties.

The exchange said questions it asked the ICAC concerning certain areas which needed clarification had not been properly answered and demonstrated ignorance of the way markets worked.

In a letter to Democratic Party legislator Albert Ho Chun-yan, stock exchange chairman Lee Hon-chiu said he sought clarification from the ICAC on which areas required tighter control.

'The grey areas suggested difficulties in future implementation and will have an impact on the normal business of certain individuals of the exchange,' Mr Lee said.

'The ICAC failed to answer the exchange's concerns, probably due to insufficient understanding of securities market operations.' The exchange is studying the grey areas and will make 'practicable' counter-proposals.

One area of difficulty was how exchange council members would be treated.

'The ICAC must make it clear under what circumstances a council member may have broken the law,' Mr Lee said.

However, Mr Ho said the dilemma could be resolved by forbidding council members from accepting benefits to avoid conflicts of interest.

He said: 'They should be prepared to give up the benefits if they are to become public servants.'