About Sponsors 
10/07/2015 
 

Introduction
 

The role of sponsors is of special importance in Hong Kong since sponsors provide assurance to the Exchange and the market that the listing applicants comply with the Listing Rules and other relevant legal and regulatory requirements, and that the listing documents provide sufficient information for investors to make a properly informed assessment of the listing applicants’ shares, financial conditions and profitability.  Sponsors also advise and guide the listing applicants as to the Listing Rules and other relevant regulatory requirements.

 

Policy developments

 

The Listing Rules were amended in 2013 to complement the new sponsor regulation of the Securities and Futures Commission (the “SFC”).

The material amendments included:

 
  • Dovetail the Listing Rules with the SFC’s Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the SFC, and set a minimum period of 2 months from the date of the sponsor’s formal appointment to submit a listing application;
  • Require the initial draft of the listing document submitted for vetting (the “Application Proof”) must be substantially complete; 
  • Impose an 8-week moratorium on returned listing applications which does not meet the substantially complete requirement; and establish an accelerated process for reviewing the Listing Department’s decision on returning the applications;
  • Establish a streamlined regulatory commenting process focusing on major issues and material disclosure deficiencies; and
  • Require the publication on the Exchange’s website of the Application Proof and a later draft of the listing document after the Listing Committee hearing (i.e. the Post Hearing Information Pack).
 

For details of an overview of the changes to the Listing Rules, the required documents and guidance on interpretations and procedures, please refer to Rule Changes to Complement New Sponsor Regulation.