The accountancy school at the Chinese University of Hong Kong is planning to set up a corporate governance centre to bolster accountability in the SAR's business sector. The centre would allow businessmen, professors, government officials, executives of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing and the Securities and the Futures Commission to conduct studies and seminars on ways to improve corporate governance of the local stock market. It will also produce publications on the subject. Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing chief operating officer Alec Tsui Yiu-wa said such a centre would help raise investor confidence. 'Unlike overseas companies, in which major shareholders usually do not become involved in management, many locally listed companies are family-owned and managed by major shareholders,' said Mr Tsui, attending a university function yesterday. About one-third of Hong Kong's listed companies are family-owned. 'It is important for major shareholders to understand the importance of corporate governance so they manage the companies in a manner which gives confidence to the investors,' Mr Tsui said. Subjects to be studied by the centre will include disclosure, transparency, and the roles of independent non-executive directors, said Low Chee-keong, associate professor in corporate law. It would study the management style of family-owned listed companies, and compare management culture in Hong Kong with the culture of overseas counterparts, Mr Low said. He said the university would need about HK$3.9 million in government funding to set up the centre. Mr Tsui said standards of corporate governance in the SAR were not bad, but there was room for improvement. 'Hong Kong could set up a good corporate-governance model for the other Asian countries to follow,' he said.