Hong Kong securities watchdog proposes tougher rules for IPO sponsors

Under the new SFC proposals, sponsors in Hong Kong can be held criminally liable, and the number of advisers on a deal may be limited.

In a much-awaited move, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission SFC yesterday launched a two-month consultation on proposals to enhance sponsor regulations. The move comes in light of growing concerns about the quality of some companies that have sought a listing status in Hong Kong, which continues to be the world’s top market for IPOs.

Just last month, the SFC revoked Mega Capital’s licence to advise on corporate finance and fined it HK$42 million $5.4 million for failing to discharge its sponsor’s duties in relation to the listing application of Chinese fabric maker Hontex International in 2009. The regulator cited reasons such as inadequate and sub-standard due diligence...

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