HKEx shows no sign of giving up power

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 31 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 31 January, 2004, 12:00am

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) yesterday announced a list of rule changes to improve corporate governance - a sign it is not about to relinquish its powers.

Only a day earlier, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) had said it wanted to take over the vetting of candidates for listing.

'We believe the government will not only listen to the opinion of the SFC, but also to that of HKEx and other market participants before making a final decision on listing regulation,' HKEx chief executive Paul Chow Man-yiu said.

Under the changes announced yesterday, from March 31 firms with market capitalisation of more than $4 billion and annual income of more than $500 million will not need to have shown a profit for three consecutive years before listing - making listing easier for large mainland companies that are not very profitable and for government-owned companies like the Airport Authority. Companies with capitalisation below $200 million - double the present threshold - will be barred from listing.