More than 30 companies listed in Hong Kong have failed to submit even unaudited financial results by the deadline on Thursday , even after the stock exchange made special provisions for the coronavirus pandemic, exchange data shows. The 32 companies include casino and hotels operator Macau Legend Development, drug company CStone Pharmaceuticals, media firm Bison Finance as well as a number of property management companies such as Roiserv Lifestyle Services. The firms blamed the pandemic and sudden lockdowns in mainland Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen for their failure to prepare full-year results, according to filings made with the exchange on Friday. Companies that fail to submit their audited annual results by March 31 see their shares suspended from trading. They need to release audited results before their shares can resume trading, and face a delisting if their shares are suspended for 18 consecutive months. “It is sensible move. If a company cannot issue even an unaudited result, it lacks transparency and should be suspended from trading to protect the interests of investors,” said Robert Lee Wai-wang, the Hong Kong lawmaker for the financial services sector, and CEO of Grand Capital Holdings. The Hong Kong stock exchange will continue to actively monitor developments, and work with these companies and other professionals to “keep the period of any trading suspensions to as short as is reasonably possible”, said a spokeswoman of bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. “The exchange is committed to maintaining a fair, orderly and continuous market,” she said. The largest group among the companies failing to submit their results was that of mainland Chinese property developers , and amounted for a third of these firms. This group includes China Aoyuan Group, Kaisa Group Holdings, Fantasia Holdings Group, Modern Land (China), Sunac China Holdings and Sunshine 100 China Holdings, among others. Property firm Shimao Group Holdings joined the list of companies failing to submit results after its plan to issue unaudited figures before the March 31 deadline collapsed because of the latest wave of Covid-19 infections in China. The company’s headquarters in Shanghai was forced to lock down and some of its staff were in quarantine, it said in an exchange filing. Of the firms that will be suspended from trading, 14 blamed the pandemic, the HKEX spokeswoman said. The number of companies missing their results deadline on Thursday was lower than the 57 firms that missed the deadline in 2021. Of these, two were affected by the pandemic. In fact, another 192 companies missed the deadline to report their audited results last year, but they managed to issue unaudited results by Thursday, so that their shares could continue to trade on the Hong Kong exchange. They took advantage of a special policy adopted by HKEX in light of the pandemic, after Covid-19 prevented auditors from travelling freely to mainland China to finish their work in 2020. Thursday’s number was higher than the 27 cases recorded in 2021, but lower than the 380 reported in 2020, when the policy began. Among the more than 2,500 companies listed in Hong Kong, 1,860 firms needed to comply with the Thursday reporting deadline after their financial year ended at the end of December last year.