JUST in whose interest is the Jardine Matheson Holdings decision to quit its listing in the territory? After reviewing the statements from the parties involved, any reasonable man would conclude it is being done in the interests of the minority controlling Keswick family, which apparently owns only five per cent of the company. Many reasonable people might consider the board not to be acting in the best interests of the other, non-family-linked shareholders in this de-listing. In fact, some reasonable people might infer that the rule of some five per cent of shareholders is being imposed on the rest, and that investors should question whether the directors are acting within their obligations to all shareholders. The Hong Kong stock exchange said yesterday it would not ask for another shareholder vote on the de-listing issue as one had already been taken when the shareholders agreed to the secondary listing. That was some years ago and the whole de-listing debate was rolling, but no one ever really believed the threat would be carried out because at the time there were quite a number of avenues and options possible to follow before the final button to de-list was pushed. These channels have now been exhausted, which has quite obviously led the board's decision to de-list, but in the light of this, shareholders should be given an opportunity to have their say again. It is the firm belief of many in the securities industry that this should be so, and it is within the exchange listing committee's power to enforce it. From an international standpoint and in the interests of fair play, along with the protection of the integrity of the stock exchange, with regard to shareholder rights in Hong Kong, a new vote should be taken. People find it difficult to believe the Keswicks when they say this is nothing to do with politics and it is all to do with obtaining a unified British-based regulatory environment for the group. However, if the shareholders do get a new vote, and they vote in favour of allowing the Keswicks to make another idiosyncratic leap to escape the consequences of historic inevitability, then so be it.