Margaret Leung to join board of HKEx

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 April, 2013, 3:28am

The government yesterday announced the appointment of former Hang Seng Bank chief executive Margaret Leung Ko May-yee as a director of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, as it seeks to break up its "boys club" image.

The bourse, which operates the local stock and futures markets, has 13 directors, including chief executive Charles Li Xiaojia. Six are elected by shareholders and the rest are appointed by the government.

At present, all HKEx directors are male, putting it among the 40 per cent of locally listed companies with no women on their boards.

Leung becomes the third female director of HKEx, following in the footsteps of former directors Laura Cha Shih May-lung and Christine Loh Kung-wai.

A government source told the Post last month that it would appoint at least one woman to the HKEx board to set an example for other companies.

Only 10 per cent of Hong Kong's directors are women, much below the 17 to 40 per cent range elsewhere.

From September, the exchange will require companies to diversify their boards in terms of gender, age and skill set, and provide an explanation if they fail to do so.

Leung's appointment will be for a two-year term that will begin after HKEx's annual general meeting on April 24.

Announcing the appointment, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said: "We are confident her strong expertise and experience in the financial services sector and excellent connections in the business community will contribute to HKEx's strategies to expand its sources of listing and promote Hong Kong as the premier capital formation centre."