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HKEX: Exchange Publishes Consultation Paper On Review Of Disciplinary Powers And Sanctions

Date 07/08/2020

  • Proposals to enhance disciplinary regime, to promote market quality
  • Key focus on individual misconduct
  • Market feedback sought during two-month consultation period

 

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), today (Friday) published a consultation paper in relation to proposed changes in respect of the Exchange’s disciplinary regime (the Consultation Paper).

The Consultation Paper follows a wide-ranging review of the Exchange’s disciplinary powers and sanctions under Chapter 2A of the Listing Rules, to ensure that the disciplinary regime continues to remain robust and effective.

“The Exchange’s disciplinary regime, set out under our Listing Rules, has been in place for some time without major changes. Through this exercise, we hope to take a holistic view of our regime, with the focus on ensuring that it remains fit for purpose, continues to promote market quality and aligns with stakeholder expectations and international best practice,” said HKEX Head of Listing, Bonnie Y Chan.

“We aim to have at our disposal a broad spectrum of disciplinary sanctions, so that we can protect the integrity of our markets and the investing public, as well as to promote strong corporate governance and deter misconduct,” said Ms. Chan.

The Consultation Paper seeks comments on a number of proposals and enhancements, with a particular emphasis on strengthening the Exchange’s powers to hold accountable, and impose appropriate sanctions on, individuals responsible for misconduct and breaches of the Listing Rules.

Amongst other things, this includes proposals to augment the range of reputational sanctions available, and to ensure that disciplinary action can be brought against individuals, including members of senior management who are not directors, who cause or knowingly participate in a contravention of the Listing Rules.

The Exchange invites broad market feedback on its proposals. The public comment period ends on Friday, 9 October 2020.

A summary of the key proposals and enhancements to the existing disciplinary regime is set out below.

The Consultation Paper is available to view on the HKEX website.

Key Proposals:           

  • Lowering existing thresholds for public statements regarding individuals;
  • Enhancing follow-on actions in relation to public statements regarding individuals;
  • Removing existing thresholds for denying the facilities of the market to listed issuers;
  • Introducing director unsuitability statements against individuals;
  • Enhancing disclosure requirements for directors and senior management members subject to public sanctions;
  • Introducing secondary liability for Rule breaches; and
  • Expanding the disciplinary regime to new parties such as guarantors of structured products and parties who enter into an agreement or undertaking with the Exchange.