The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) yesterday defended its role in regulating the disclosure of price-sensitive information after an outcry about its handling of Shenzhen Expressway's asset disposal announcement. On Wednesday, Shenzhen Expressway, listed in both Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges, told the Shanghai stock exchange it was selling two toll highways to the Shenzhen municipal government. But while the stock was suspended from trading on the local market on Wednesday, the sale was announced in Hong Kong yesterday. Without referring to specific cases, HKEx official Henry Law Man-wai said the timing of disclosures varied according to time zones and locations of stock markets. 'Hong Kong investors may know about information from the mainland stock exchanges, but they do not have any chance to deal in the stock concerned because its trading is suspended,' Mr Law said. No unfair market was created as a result. 'If you say mainland investors get hold of information faster than Hong Kong investors, what about a comparison between investors in London and Hong Kong? Hong Kong is several hours ahead of London,' Mr Law said. However, critics noted that there was no time difference between Hong Kong and Shanghai - raising a question of selective disclosure. David Webb, editor of webb-site.com, which lobbies for minority shareholders' rights, said the 'key travesty' was that HKEx saw fit to classify the sale as a 'disclosable transaction' rather than a 'connected transaction', despite the municipal government effectively having a 51.02 per cent voting interest.