Listings super regulator threatens China's interests, says Charles Lee

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 April, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 April, 2003, 12:00am

Stock Exchange chairman Charles Lee Yeh-kwong has slammed a proposal to turn the Securities and Futures Commission into a super regulator. He said the plan threatened the mainland's national interest.

The proposal aims to improve the quality of companies listed in Hong Kong.

But Mr Lee said: 'It is against the national policy of China. The central government supports more mainland companies listing in Hong Kong, while the reform will shut the door to many small firms.'

In an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post , Mr Lee branded Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung's instant endorsement of the proposal as premature and ill thought out.

The proposal would strip Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing of its frontline regulatory role of listed firms. The proposal was conceived by an expert group in the aftermath of last year's penny stocks fiasco.

Last Thursday the official China Daily criticised the planned reform and called on the government to reconsider.

Mr Lee hit out at the expert group report for 'bad mouthing' the exchange and damaging Hong Kong's reputation as a global financial centre.

'The report highlighted the bad record of new listings but it did not mention that the exchange helped hundreds of mainland companies raise $770 billion in the past 10 years,' Mr Lee said.