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Hang Seng Index

Are new Hong Kong listing rules really good for investors?

  • Whether the new rules have actually strengthened our financial market or sacrificed quality for quantity remains to be seen
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 January, 2019, 1:04pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 January, 2019, 1:04pm

The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing website extols “2018: A strong year for Hong Kong’s markets” and ebulliently crows that HKEX finished top of the global IPO (initial public offering) fundraising table this year.

However, investors may have a very different perspective, as shown by your business section article “Hong Kong shares see worst year since 2011” (January 1). The Hong Kong and China markets have been among the poorest performers worldwide. The HKEX’s new listing rules have accommodated “new economy” companies that accounted for nearly half of those IPO fundraising amounts. Whether those new rules have actually strengthened our financial market or sacrificed quality for quantity remains to be seen.

Upon reflection (on the dot-com bubble in the early 2000s and the 2008 financial crisis), in financial markets pride often comes before a fall, so 2019 may indicate further if considerations to favour issuers have been at the expense of investors.

Frank Lee, Wan Chai