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Hong Kong stock exchange holds off weighted vote listings

The Hong Kong stock exchange has decided that it will not proceed with its draft proposal  to allow listing of companies with weighted voting rights (WVRs).09 Oct 2015

The Hong Kong stock exchange will continue to only allow companies to list if they have a one-share one-vote structure, it said.

The exchange had published a proposal in June, suggesting that "WVR structures would be permitted for certain companies in certain circumstances with certain safeguards".

However, Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission issued a statement saying that its board had "unanimously concluded" that it did not support the proposal.

The draft proposal did not, in the SFC's opinion, contain adequate safeguards and ring-fencing and anti-avoidance measures to address the risk of WVR becoming commonplace in Hong Kong, it said.

The exchange’s listing committee, a body that approves listing applications and provides policy advice on listing matters to the exchange, said that it doesn't believe progress can be made on a "workable proposal" in light of the commission’s objection. The listing committee concluded, however, that the exchange should continue to monitor regulatory and market developments, both in Hong Kong and elsewhere, which may require a further review on a modified proposal in due course.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba chose to list on the New York stock exchange last September because it wanted to use a voting structure that was not allowed in Hong Kong.

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