On 15 March 2021, The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (HKEx) published its Listing Committee Report for 2020, which includes a review of the committee’s work during the year and an overview of its policy agenda for 2021 and beyond.
In 2020, the Listing Committee considered 151 applications (a 23% decrease from 2019) in addition to hearing 27 review and 24 disciplinary cases. The number of new listings of companies from emerging and innovative sectors continued to increase, including 9 US-listed Greater China “homecoming” issuers that obtained secondary listing in Hong Kong, compared with one in 2019.
In 2020, HKEx published a concept paper to seek market feedback on its proposal to comprehensively modernise and digitalise Hong Kong’s IPO settlement process. Under the proposal, HKEx will introduce a new web-based service called FINI (Fast Interface for New Issuance) that enables IPO market participants, advisers and regulators to interact digitally and seamlessly, shortening the IPO settlement process by up to 80 per cent.
In October 2020, HKEx introduced listing e-Forms for issuers’ and IPO applicants’ submission of routine information to HKEx, and in December concluded a consultation to implement completely paperless IPOs.
HKEx also reviewed issuers’ corporate governance practice disclosures and reported its findings and recommendations. It published new and updated guidance materials to help IPO applicants and their directors to build, and integrate, corporate governance and environmental, social and governance considerations into their business strategy.