Q1 Subscription arrangements for initial public offering of shares
MR CHAN CHUN-YING (in Cantonese):
President, at present, uncovered multiple subscription applications will only become invalid and hence, the deterrent effect on multiple applicants is quite limited.
I would like to ask the authorities whether they will consider increasing the penalties in the future so that if multiple applications are uncovered, these multiple applicants should at least be prohibited from subscribing for new shares for a period of time in order to achieve some deterrent effect in this regard.
SECRETARY FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES AND THE TREASURY (in Cantonese):
President, the concerns expressed by Mr CHAN and Mr CHEUNG just now are quite similar, that is, what is the role of investors in submitting multiple IPO subscription applications? Or what else can be done at the level of the Government or the regulatory authorities?
Apart from the FINI platform, which I mentioned just now, to provide a single platform in the long run for IPO applications to enhance the capability to deal with this issue, the Government and the regulatory authorities have currently put in place measures, for example, the existing requirement for applicants to make a declaration to listed companies and their teams, including sponsors and underwriters, when submitting IPO applications, stating that they have not made multiple applications.
As Mr CHAN mentioned earlier, what can be done when someone violates the declaration, that is, when he is not so “well-behaved”? If he violates the declaration, we can pursue the case through legal channels and multiple IPO applications will also be rejected. For example, should listed companies and their teams uncover any suspected fraud cases that need to be investigated by the police, they will also refer the details of the relevant share subscription applications to the police for follow-up, so it cannot be said that the present situation is not subject to any regulation. There are both existing rules and channels. In the future, we will make use of the FINI platform, an enhanced technology tool, to further strengthen our work in this area.
Q2 Vaccination records
MR CHAN CHUN-YING (in Cantonese):
President, if the Government would not consider adding an identity authentication function to the “LeaveHomeSafe” application, it will likely create loopholes in epidemic prevention in case someone uses other people’s vaccination records to enter the catering premises. I also enquired about this issue at the meeting of the Subcommittee on Subsidiary Legislation Relating to the Prevention and Control of Disease held yesterday. The Bureau indicated that so far they have not found anyone using other people’s vaccination records during their inspections. Nevertheless, given that people’s electronic vaccination records are kept in both the “iAM Smart” system and the Electronic Health Record Sharing System (“eHRSS”), will the authorities consider requiring members of the public to present their electronic vaccination records in “iAM Smart” or “eHRSS” instead of presenting the vaccination records in the “LeaveHomeSafe”? Are there any technical difficulties that render it impossible to do so?
SECRETARY FOR INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY (in Cantonese):
President, I thank Mr CHAN for his supplementary question. As a matter of fact, the purpose of allowing electronic vaccination records to be saved in the “LeaveHomeSafe” is to provide an additional channel for the public to use and bring along their electronic vaccination records conveniently. “iAM Smart” and “eHRSS” can also perform the same function in that electronic vaccination records can be saved in these systems as well. Of course, we will actively consider the suggestion put forth by Mr CHAN just now to examine how we can do a better job in the prevention and control of the epidemic while providing convenience to the public. Yet, I would like to emphasize that during the process, it is most important that members of the public, being the owners of vaccination records, should keep their vaccination records carefully and avoid sharing their vaccination records with others because such records contain some authentication information including their personal data. This is the same as our identity cards or passports, which contain our personal data, so we must protect them properly and prevent from being abused by others. From the Government’s perspective, we also hope to avoid such abuse through inspections, but we have to find out how to strike a proper balance in the process. On the one hand, we hope to bring convenience and benefits to members of the public; while on the other hand, we must also minimize abuse, so as not to undermine our anti-epidemic work. Rightly as Mr CHAN has raised earlier or Secretary Prof CHAN has said a short while ago, we will continue to conduct inspections to understand the actual situation of the market or the current situation, and if some circumstances arises making us feel that it is necessary to adjust or even tighten the measures, we stand ready to make complementary actions in order to do better in epidemic prevention.