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Hong Kong Corporate Governance Excellence Awards 2013 Announces Results

HONG KONG, Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Winners of the "The Hong Kong Corporate Governance Excellence Awards 2013" were announced tonight. Winners this year come from a broad spectrum of industries, from banking, property developers and managers to utilities and public transport vehicle manufacturing. Operating in very different business environments and faced with different business issues, these companies come up with their own corporate governance approach and tailored and prioritized measures to deal with those issues and achieve remarkable business results.

Dr. Eddy Fong, Chairman of the Judging Panel from this year onwards said, "When selecting winners, members of the panel focused on companies whose structure and policies are specifically tailored to address specific risks and challenges facing the individual company, rather than simply following the standard code and practices."

Another characteristic about the winners is the rising importance of independent non-executive directors in their board. These directors bring relevant experience, expertise and a unique perspective that help tackle critical business issues and elevate overall company performance. They play an active and engaged role in the board committees, in most cases being the chairperson, thus providing strong oversight of the company's development strategy and governance structures and processes.

For the Awards for Corporate Governance Excellence, the winners this year are Bank of China Limited and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited in the Category of Hang Seng Index Constituent Companies; CSR Corporation and Towngas China Limited in theCategory of Hang Seng Composite Index Constituent Companies; The Link REIT in the Category of Other Main Board and GEM Board Companies. In the Awards for Sustainability Excellence category,the winners are Sino Land Limited and The Link REIT.

Mr. Carlson Tong, Chairman of Securities and Futures Commission, was the Keynote Speaker of the Awards Gala Dinner.
Initiated by the Chamber of Hong Kong Listed Companies (CHKLC) and jointly organized by the Centre for Corporate Governance and Financial Policy, Hong Kong Baptist University, the award program has entered into its 7th year.

Mr. Patrick Sun, Chairman of CHKLC said, "Good corporate governance can be translated into accountability, transparency, integrity and robustness to withstand risks, all of which are ingredients of market success and what investors look for. The Awards has served as a platform for companies to showcase their success and for the market to recognize excellent performers. The Chamber is very pleased to make contribution to enhance the corporate governance culture of our market, thereby safeguarding its quality and long term success."

Mr. Sun expressed special thanks to Dr. Eddy Fong, saying, "The Chamber is honored to have the immediate past chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission to lead the judging panel. Dr. Fong succeeds Dr. Anthony Neoh, also a past SFC Chairman, who has been the chair for the past six years. The fact that we have two former SFC chairmen getting involved speaks volumes of the Awards' standing and credibility."

About the Hong Kong Corporate Governance Excellence Awards

"The Hong Kong Corporate Governance Excellence Awards" are conferred annually since 2007 by the Chamber of Hong Kong Listed Companies and the Centre for Corporate Governance and Financial Policy, Hong Kong Baptist University.

The Awards aim to foster the highest standards in corporate governance, business ethics and board leadership in Hong Kong; recognize excellence; showcase best practices and accomplishments, and thereby promote a strong corporate governance culture.

The Award provides recognition and prestige for listed companies in achieving outstanding commitment to shareholder rights, compliance, integrity, fairness, responsibility, accountability, transparency, board independence & leadership, and corporate social responsibility.

The 2013 Awards Program is supported by the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, Securities and Futures Commission, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, HKICPA, the Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association, and the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association. It is also sponsored by BDO Limited, BoardVantage and Diligent APAC Board Services Pte. Ltd. as Bronze Sponsors; Fuji Xerox (Hong Kong) Limited and Modern Media Group as Collateral Sponsors. Hong Kong Economic Times is Sole Chinese Media Sponsor of the event; Metro Finance is Exclusive Radio Partner; PR Newswire is Regional News Distribution Partner; QuamIR, and TodayIR are Online Media Partners, and is Exclusive Mainland Online Media Partner, Wealth World Channel is Mainland Television Partner.



China to remove price, turnover guidelines for IPOs, details investor participation

(Reuters) - China's securities regulators issued fresh details on their plans for the resumption of initial public offerings (IPOs) early next year, eliminating pricing and turnover controls for IPOs while detailing how investor participation will be managed.

Beijing is moving to reinvigorate its stock markets to make them more responsive to market forces in order to help lessen Chinese firms' over dependence on bank loans for fundraising.

Chinese investors frequently deride the stock markets as hives of speculation, manipulation and insider trading.

The government must restore investor confidence in stocks as an asset class compared to other products like housing or wealth management products, and at the same time convince investors that corporate governance at listed Chinese firms is improving.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has already said it will abandon its approval-based listing system in which government officials decided which companies would get to list, and adopt a U.S.-style registration system in which the market decides reception and pricing of IPOs.

Some 50 companies (out of a total queue of over 800 firms waiting to list) are expected to complete registration and auditing procedures in January, according to official statements, and will theoretically be able to list soon after.

In a statement posted on its website on Friday, the CSRC said it will stop involving itself in IPO pricing, inline with its commitment to let the market play a "decisive" role in pricing assets. While there was never a formally published cap on IPO pricing, in the past regulators intervened in the pricing and timing of new issues when they saw it necessary.

On Friday evening the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges published regulations on how investor subscriptions in IPOs will be managed, a key question for China's legions of retail investors who still dominate transaction volumes.

Previously IPOs have been highly distorted by massive triple-digit pops on the first day which paid off heavily for connected institutional investors, followed up by declines below the original IPO price, burning later investors.

In order to address this concern, the CSRC has already said it will force original stakeholder investors to buy back their shares should the price fall below the IPO price within two years of listing.

However, in their statements the two exchanges said they will also eliminate rules that froze trade in stocks on their first day of trade if turnover exceeded extraordinarily high thresholds, 80 percent in the case of Shanghai.

The new regulations also require participants in IPO subscriptions to have 10,000 yuan ($1,600) worth of shares in other companies already in their portfolio.

Edward Lehman雷曼法学博士
Managing Director 董事长

LEHMAN, LEE & XU China Lawyers
Founder of LehmanBrown International Accountants

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