It is difficult to see how anyone can object to the proposal by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to turn the Stock Exchange into a public body. This does not mean that the exchange would be subject to any form of government control. But it would afford the anti-graft body greater powers of investigation and prosecution under parts of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance which apply only to public bodies and their servants. It would also send a valuable signal to the local and international communities that corruption will not be tolerated in an institution so central to Hong Kong's economic success. Yet the proposal has so far won less than universal backing. The Government has pointedly failed to offer its support. The Hong Kong Stockbrokers' Association has attacked the idea, claiming that it would lead to a fall in the value of seats on the exchange. Meanwhile, the financial services legislator, Chim Pui-chung, is busy lobbying for ordinary members of the exchange to be exempt from any change. Mr Chim's reservations deserve consideration. It is unclear if it is necessary to treat all members as public servants since many perform no administrative functions. So the ICAC's powers are unlikely to be hampered by confining its proposal to Stock Exchange council and sub-committee members. Apart from such quibbles about the extent of change, there should be no reason for delay. All manner of organisations, from Ocean Park to the Star Ferry, are treated as public bodies. It is absurd for the Stock Exchange to be treated differently. Given its monopoly position, public interest demands it should be subject to the tightest possible anti-graft safeguards. The Stock Exchange is still studying the issue, but it has always opposed any attempt to alter its structure in the past. If that happens again, the Government and the Securities and Futures Commission should not hesitate to use their powers to force through this long-overdue change.