HSBC Holdings is resisting a plan by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing to require listed companies to report results more frequently. The chairman of HSBC in Hong Kong, David Eldon, said the bank would be reluctant to report its results every three months and had raised its concerns with HKEx officials. He said the bank would submit a counter proposal to the exchange, through the Hong Kong Association of Banks. 'We are not opposed to the exchange's proposal but we are reluctant to accept it,' he said. 'The stock exchange should strongly recommend, but should not mandatorily require, that all the companies do quarterly reporting.' The HKEx will consult market participants until April 22 on its proposals to change the rules, which at present require listed companies to report results every six months. The change would bring Hong Kong in line with reporting requirements in the United States, Singapore and China. Mr Eldon said that if the exchange only recommended listed companies to report their results every three months - but did not require them to do so - HSBC would stick to reporting its results every six months. The bank would clearly explain in its report to shareholders why it preferred to report its results less frequently. 'We consider that the exchange proposal would not be of much benefit to investors and that it would increase costs for companies,' he said. Mr Eldon said quarterly reporting would create a huge new workload for staff at HSBC, which operates in many countries around the world and has its shares listed in London, Hong Kong and the US. 'It would mean many more board meetings, many more auditing committee meetings, and much more work for the company's accountants and external auditors,' he said. The group is not required to issue quarterly reports in the US where it has only listed American Depository Receipts. Britain only encourages companies to report each quarter; it is not mandatory. Mr Eldon does not believe quarterly reporting would usher in better management because it would force managers to focus more on short-term plans to achieve better quarterly profits, rather than concentrate on developing long-term strategies. This would lead investors to focus too much on the short rather than long-term performance of the company. He said keeping six-monthly reporting did mean Hong Kong would lag behind overseas counterparts. 'Enron had reported its results every three months, but it did not help the investors to understand much about its debt problem before its collapse,' he said. US energy giant Enron collapsed late last year under the weight of enormous debts but investors had little knowledge of the company's problems because it had created special investment vehicles to hide many of its debts. US accounting rules did not require these to be disclosed. 'This proved that the quality of information given by the companies is far more important than the frequency of the reporting,' Mr Eldon said. HSBC has been well-known for transparency in its financial statements, winning the Hong Kong Society of Accountants' disclosure award for financial statements for the past two years. Without the blessing of the largest listed company in Hong Kong, the exchange could struggle to convince other companies to support its quarterly reporting proposals. Mr Eldon said if the HKEx did decide to go for the proposal, the bank would comply with the rule. But at this stage, it would continue lobbying the exchange and its officials to urge them to change the plan.