On 28 August 2020, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange) published the conclusion its consultation on proposed codification of general waivers and principles relating to IPOs and listed issuers and minor Listing Rule amendments. The related Listing Rules amendments will take effect on 1 October 2020.
The Exchange is seeking comments on its proposed codification of: (i) a number of General Waivers in relation to IPOs and listed issuers whose basis and conditions are unlikely to change or evolve in the foreseeable future; (ii) the principles and conditions underpinning a number of waivers from strict compliance with Listing Rules that have been granted by the Exchange in relation to IPOs and listed issuers on more than one occasion; and (iii) minor Listing Rule amendments.
The Exchange, after considering the comments from the respondents, decided to adopt most of the proposals in the consultation paper with minor modifications.
The only proposal that has not been adopted was related to the waiver of experience and qualification requirements of a company secretary since there were concerns over the negative impact on the corporate governance standards in Hong Kong and career development of existing qualified professionals. Alternatively, the Exchange has published a new guidance letter to provide clarifications and guidance on the policy rationale of Main Board Listing Rule 3.28 (GEM Listing Rule 5.14), and factors the Exchange considered when granting a waiver to this rule, and the relevant conditions.