Q2 Permitting the listing of companies with weighted voting right structures in Hong Kong
MR CHAN CHUN-YING (in Cantonese):
President, the decision-making power of companies with WVR structures is vested in the helmsmen of the companies, which is a far cry from decision-making being swayed by majority shareholders in non-WVR companies. There is already a listed company with a WVR structure (i.e. Swire Pacific Limited B) in Hong Kong, unknown to many people, I believe. Given that the governance of companies with WVR structures plays a key role in investor protection, and the Government also mentioned in the main reply measures to enhance corporate governance, I have this question for the Government. Will such measures include provision of specific training to the directors of companies with WVR structures, particularly independent non-executive directors, which is similar to the training offered by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to directors of banks, so as to ensure that the governance of such companies is up to the recognized levels and standards?
SECRETARY FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES AND THE TREASURY (in Cantonese):
President, in fact, SEHK will mandate issuers with WVR structures to establish a corporate governance committee comprised of independent non-executive directors and ensure that the issuers are operated and managed for the benefit of all the shareholders and comply with the main board rules. Moreover, SEHK will also require issuers to engage full-time compliance advisers, and directors and senior management will also undergo appropriate training on WVR and its associated risks, as suggested by the Honourable Member just now. We will properly carry out such tasks to ensure the corporate governance standards of such companies.