StanChart in cross-hairs as HK IPO hunt widens

The bank is the latest ensnared in a widening investigation by Hong Kong’s regulator, which is clamping down on shoddy work by IPO sponsors. The problem appears to go back to its role in the 2009 listing of China Forestry.

Standard Chartered told investors on Tuesday that Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission “intends to take action” against it. The threat centres on StanChart’s role as a joint sponsor of an IPO in 2009, the bank said.

According to FinanceAsia’s research, StanChart sponsored only one IPO in 2009, the listing of China Forestry. The stock was suspended on January 26, 2011 after its auditors identified possible accounting irregularities.

UBS, which was StanChart’s co-sponsor on the China Forestry listing, told investors last week that it could lose its corporate finance licence in Hong Kong as a...

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