Report on Improving Corporate Governance in Hong Kong

Оригинал на английском языке.
Гонконгский институт лицензированных публичных бухгалтеров
Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Авторы: Syren Johnstone и Say H Goo
Обзор текущего состояния (дата издания отчета 15.12.2017) корпоративного права Гонконга, основанного на Ординансе "О компаниях" 2014 года (Hong Kong Companies Ordinance) и Ординансе "О ценных бумагах и фьючерсах" 2003 года (Hong Kong Securities and Futures Ordinance). Исследование недостатков действующего режима и предложения о направлениях развития.

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Пятница, 31 мая 2019

4. Recommendations. 4.9 Policy

A 4.9.1 Transparency of listing rule development

Step required
Adoption by SFC and SEHK of transparency policy on listing rule development.

Recommendation level

Topic addressed
Courts and tribunals are increasingly being required to consider the intended purpose of regulatory requirements.
Explanations of purpose and likely effect of proposed new listing rules are not, following its implementation, currently made publicly available.
Enforcement of listing rule requirements is expected to develop toward a more effective system.

Details of recommendation
1.Once a new listing rule has been approved, the SEHK's explanation of its purposes and effect, as finalized following the SFC's response to it, must be made public.
2.Publication would be made after a defined short period following the announcement of the new rule.
3.The new requirement to be implemented by the SFC and SEHK adopting a transparency policy.
4.The policy to address scope of permissible redactions.

Attendant considerations
Ensuring that the secrecy provisions of section 378 of the SFO applying to the SFC are not triggered.
To consider whether previous materials should be publicly released.
Alternatively, the obligation to publicly disclose could be imposed via subsidiary legislation under the SFO.

Jurisdiction references

Section 3 reference
3.7.2 Policy development agencies.

E 4.9.2* Whistle-blowing

Step required
Public enquiry/consultation.

Recommendation level

Topic addressed
Introduction of whistle-blowing laws that encourage whistle¬blowing by providing protection to whistle-blowers.

Details of recommendation
1. Financial Secretary/FSTB to initiate a public consultation or commission an expert group to undertake a report on whistle-blowing.

Attendant considerations
Whether the consultation should be limited to specific circumstances such as, for the purposes of this Report, corporate misfeasance etc.
The role of financial incentives in whistle-blowing.

Jurisdiction references
United States. Mainland China.

Section 3 reference
3.7.13 Whistle-blowing.

E 4.9.3 Market development

Step required
Policy-led initiative.

Recommendation level

Topic addressed
Proposals to develop the market (such as allowing weighted voting rights, etc) should be repositioned around more fundamental market objectives.
Given Hong Kong's growth over the last three decades, there is a need to identify the overarching objectives that should drive the development of the Hong Kong market and how might this impact on shareholder protection.
What mechanisms for shareholder protection may need to develop in tandem with change need to be more openly addressed.

Details of recommendation
1.An expert group to be appointed by the Government and mandated to establish the key factors relevant to the development of Hong Kong's capital market over the next stage of its evolution.
2.The overarching market objectives to be based on the constitutionally-defined role of Hong Kong as an international financial centre.
3.The relevance of CG in market development should be clearly established from the outset and what changes may need to made in Hong Kong's CG system to maintain or improve current standards be considered accordingly.
4.Based on the expert report, Government to undertake appropriate policy-led initiatives.

Attendant considerations
The identification and inclusion of relevant stakeholders.

Jurisdiction references

Section 3 reference
3.5 Equality.

A 4.9.4 Response time to public enquiries/consultations

Step required
Voluntary adoption of performance standard by regulatory agencies.

Recommendation level

Topic addressed
That regulatory agencies be encouraged to adopt a voluntary code to respond in a timely manner to public enquires and consultations undertaken by them as there have been some instances of long delays for undisclosed reasons.

Details of recommendation
1.The adopted standard to require the agency to respond to the recommendation or consultation responses within a specified minimum period of time (for example, which would be not more than one year).
2.Where that date cannot be met then a detailed reason must be provided explaining the scope of work undertaken and the steps put in place to respond or provide a further update by a subsequent date (for example, which would be not more than half of the initial period).

Attendant considerations
As the code is voluntary and could be adopted by a variety of agencies, there is a question of who should issue it - the Office of the Ombudsman is a possible suggestion.

Jurisdiction references

Section 3 reference
3.7.2 Policy development agencies.


Содержание отчета

Executive summary
Executive Summary I Key Findings
Executive Summary II Summary of Recommendations
Executive Summary III Approach to the Study
Executive Summary IV Abridged Text of the Analysis

1 Introduction to the study and its purposes
1.1 Purpose of this Report
1.2 The development of CG in Hong Kong
1.2.1 Domestic drivers
1.2.2 Global drivers
1.3 Structure of this Report
1.3 Structure of this Report
1.3.1 Methodology
1.3.2 Analysis
1.3.3 Recommendations
1.4 Scope and limitations of this Report
1.5 Next steps

2 Methodology
2.1 Scope
2.1.1 CG concepts
2.1.2 CG Geographic reach
2.1.3 CG mechanisms
2.2 Work process
2.2.1 Data collection
2.2.2 Initial data organization
2.2.3 Oral evidence
2.2.4 Parity check
2.2.5 Analysis
2.2.6 recommendations

3 Discussion and analysis of jurisdictions studied
3.1 Overarching considerations
3.1.1 Thematic topics
3.1.2 Trends in regulating CG standards
3.1.3 The role of culture
3.1.4 The methodology of assessment
3.1.5 Cost-benefit considerations
3.1.6 Maintaining competitiveness
3.1.7 Effectiveness
3.2 Non-locally incorporated companies
3.2.1 Application of local laws and regulations
3.2.2 Cross border enforcement and cooperation
3.3 Information
3.3.1 Legal status of CG disclosures
3.3.2 Disclosure of listing rule compliance
3.3.3 Board evaluation
3.3.4 Audit committee
3.4 Involvement
3.4.1 Shareholder stewardship
3.4.2 Shareholder votes
3.4.3 Remuneration
3.4.4 Changes of control
3.5 Equality
3.5.1 Voting rights generally
3.5.2 Weighted voting rights
3.6 Accountability
3.6.1 Information disclosures generally
3.6.2 Listing rules
3.6.3 Board refreshment
3.6.4 Appointment of independent directors
3.7 Effectiveness
Part A - CG system design
3.7.1 Impact of regulatory design
3.7.2 Policy development agencies
3.7.3 Enforcement agencies
3.7.4 Audits of public companies
3.7.5 Duties of directors
3.7.6 Role of fiduciary law
Part B - Specific actions
3.7.7 Differentiation of CG requirements
3.7.8 Listing regime standards upon entry
Part C - Independent directors
3.7.9 Determination of independence
3.7.10 Requirements relating to INED performance
3.7.12 Empowerment of INEDs - controlling shareholders
Part D - Other items
3.7.13 Whistle-blowing
3.8 Coda

4 Recommendations
Introduction and approach to the recommendations
Part A - The board
4.1 Processes
4.2 Independent directors
4.3 CG standards
Part B - Enforcement
4.4 Shareholders
4.5 CG disclosures
4.6 Regulators
4.7 Ex ante mechanisms
Part C - Architecture and policy
4.8 Architecture
4.9 Policy
4.10 Summary tables

5 Concluding remarks
5.1 The Recommendations
5.2 The Hong Kong market

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