Frequently Asked Questions 
15/12/2015 
 

Chapter 4

Investment Information


4.2

Listed Company Information

 

4.2.1

Where can investors obtain annual reports from listed companies? 

Main Board and Growth Enterprise Market, or GEM, listed companies are required to post their annual reports, interim reports and financial statements on the HKEXnews and GEM websites for public viewing when they dispatch these corporate communications to shareholders. The documents shall also be posted on the listed companies’ websites for at least five years.

Provided that the listed companies have ascertained the wishes of shareholders and complied with legal requirements and provisions of their own memorandum and articles of association, they are permitted to distribute summary financial reports in place of full annual reports. They may also make available to shareholders the annual reports in Chinese or English only and using electronic means or in a printed copy. However, shareholders of a company who choose to receive summary financial reports are entitled to request a full annual report.  Shareholders who choose to receive annual reports in electronic format are entitled to request a printed copy.  Shareholders who request a full annual report or a printed copy of the annual report should be promptly sent one free of charge.

 

4.2.2

Where can investors get the lists of listed companies’ directors and shareholders? 

Investors can check the list of directors from a listed company’s annual report or latest announcements or circulars. They can also download the list or search by stock code, listed company’s name or director’s name from the List of Directors under the Issuer-related Information section on the HKEXnews website.

For the list of shareholders, any individual and shareholders of a listed company may inspect the register of members (ROM) at the share registrar of the listed company. The registered shareholders’ inspection is free of charge, while non-registered shareholders will have to pay a service charge to the share registrar for every inspection.

Investors should note that at present over 70 per cent of shares on the market in quantity terms are deposited into HKEX’s Central Clearing and Settlement System (CCASS) and all the shares held in CCASS are registered in the name of HKSCC Nominees Limited, a wholly-owned member of the HKEX group. Therefore, HKSCC Nominees Limited appears as one of the major shareholders on the ROM of most Hong Kong-listed companies. To increase market transparency, HKEX introduced a new online CCASS Shareholding Disclosure service on 28 April 2008. With the new service, the public is able to look up the total number of shares held in a company listed in Hong Kong on a specified date in the past year by each CCASS Participant and Investor Participant who has consented to the disclosure by entering the date and the company’s stock code in the CCASS Shareholding Search on the HKEXnews website.

Furthermore, in accordance with Part XV of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO), any individual holding a 5 per cent interest or more in a listed company is regarded as a substantial shareholder and required to inform the market through the Stock Exchange within three business days of any transaction resulting in a change in his/her shareholding of a ratio that crosses a certain whole percentage number. Besides, directors and chief executives of a listed company must disclose their interests in accordance with Part XV of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO). Investors can refer to Disclosure of Interests under the Shareholding Disclosures section on the HKEXnews website for the information.

 

4.2.3

How can the public interpret the disclosure information of substantial shareholders, directors or chief executives of a listed company? 

HKEX operates an e-submission system for the submission of completed disclosure of interests (DI) forms and publishes the disclosure information filed with it on the HKEXnews website in accordance with the requirements of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

The SFC has published an outline of Part XV of the SFO, which gives extensive guidance on the situations in which a DI notice will have to be filed, and related matters. Please refer to the outline on the SFC website at www.sfc.hk under Legislation & Regulatory Handbook – Part XV of SFO - Disclosure of Interests. Investors may also refer to the directions and instructions on completion of each form which give detailed advice on completing each box on each form and many examples. The SFO is a statutory regulation implemented by the SFC and HKEX is not in the position to advise on the related requirements. Investors with further enquiries about individual disclosure filings should consult the relevant listed company or professional advisers.

 

4.2.4

How can investors obtain information about listed companies and their corporate communications? 

Investors can access information about listed companies via the following channels:

  • The Latest Listed Company Information section on the HKEXnews website and the Latest Company Announcements section on the GEM website. They may also search for announcements or documents of listed companies from the Listed Company Information section on the HKEXnews website.
  • Websites of listed companies
  • News reports
  • Subscribe for information services from information vendors using the Issuer Information Feed, or IIS

Registered shareholders will receive corporate communications from listed companies, for example, financial statements and circulars to shareholders. They may select to receive corporate communications electronically while retaining the right to change their minds. They may also select to receive printed copies in both Chinese and English languages or in a single language. In addition, they may select to receive full annual reports or full interim reports; otherwise, only summary financial reports or summary interim reports (as the case may be) may be offered. 

 

4.2.5

How can investors access listed companies’ previous announcements, in particular results announcements and announcements related to dividend distribution, from the HKEXnews website? 

Investors who select Advanced Search under the Listed Company Information section on the HKEXnews website can find the date of a board meeting, results announcements and dividend distribution information by entering the stock code or stock name in Current Securities, choosing Announcements and Notices and Financial Information under the Headline Category.

Besides, investors may search previous announcements and the history of dividend distribution of a listed company from the Listed Company section on the China Stock Markets Web. Investors can also find recent information from Board Meeting Notifications and Dividends & Other Entitlements under the Issuer-related Information section on the HKEXnews website.

According to the Listing Rules, a listed company shall inform HKEX and publish an announcement at least seven clear business days in advance of the date fixed for any board meeting at which the declaration, recommendation or payment of a dividend is expected to be decided or at which any announcement of the profits or losses for any year, half-year or other period is to be approved for publication.

 

4.2.6

When will the latest listed company information and announcements be published on the HKEXnews website? 

Listed companies are required to publish their documents on the HKEXnews website via HKEX's e-submission system (ESS). The operational hours of the ESS are between 6:00 am and 11:00 pm every business day, and between
6:00 pm and 8:00 pm on a non-business day immediately preceding a business day. However, there are different publication windows for different types of documents to be published on the HKEXnews website. The arrangements are as follows:

  • Subject to certain limited types of announcements that can be published at all times during the operational hours of ESS (note), Announcements and Notices can be published during the following publication windows:
     
        On a normal business day:
    • 6:00 am to 8:30 am
    • 12:00 noon to 12:30 pm
    • 4:15 pm to 11:00 pm

      On the eves of Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year when there is no afternoon session: 
    • 6:00 am to 8:30 am
    • 12:00 noon to 11:00 pm

      On a non-business day preceding a business day:
    • 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

      (Note: These types of announcements include
    • trading halt or suspension announcements;
    • announcements that relate to a clarification of news reports or unusual price/turnover movements (classified as “standard” or “super”); and
    • overseas regulatory announcements.)

  • Other types of listed companies' documents, such as circulars and annual reports, can be submitted during the operational hours of ESS and they will be published directly on the HKEX website.

Documents published by listed companies through HKEX's ESS are available at the Latest Listed Company Information section on the HKEXnews website and the Latest Company Announcements section on the GEM website.  

 

4.2.7

How do investors apply to HKEx for the free news alert service providing listed company information? 

Investors can register at the “News Alerts and Portfolio Valuation” section under the “Investment Service Centre” of the HKEX website for HKEX's free news alert service, which provides listed company information. The news alert service will notify registered users by email of any announcements or disclosure of interests filings submitted by or relating to the Hong Kong-listed companies they choose. 

The number of securities that can be selected for each account is 20.  Alerts on listed company information are sent every 30 minutes from 6:30 am to 12 midnight on each trading day, whereas alerts on disclosure of interests notices are sent at 5:30 pm on trading days.

HKEX provides the email service free of charge, but users who wish to receive mobile phone text message alerts must check with their mobile phone service providers about text message service availability and possible fees. The Registration page on the HKEX website provides the list of mobile carriers that offer text message services.

 

4.2.8

How can Hong Kong investors obtain information from listed companies if they don't have computers or access to the Internet? 

Hong Kong Investors without access to the Internet can obtain listed company information via the following:

  • Public libraries: all public libraries in Hong Kong provide free Internet access to library users;
  • HKEX’s Public Viewing Room at 1/F, One and Two Exchange Square in Central: the Public Viewing Room houses desktop computers with which investors can search and view issuers’ announcements, notices and other documents published on the HKEX website, and browse the SFC website.  The area is open between 9:30 am and 5:00 pm on the trading days of HKEX’s securities and derivatives markets;
  • Reports by news media on listed companies’ announcements; and
  • Advisory services provided by securities brokerages: investors can always check with their brokers for the latest news from listed companies.

 

4.2.9

If the HKEX website fails or there is an Internet access problem, how can investors obtain information about listed companies to support their trading?  

HKEX enhanced its website and related systems before the implementation of the Electronic Disclosure Project on 25 June 2007, and it has installed a back-up system and developed disaster recovery arrangements to ensure business continuity. Before implementation of the project, HKEX performed a series of tests and invited related parties (including listed companies, their agents and information vendors) to participate in the testing and familiarisation sessions.

If there is a double failure of the HKEX website and its back-up website systems, HKEX has made arrangements to disseminate information on listed company announcements on a third party’s website. HKEX will announce the website when necessary. Furthermore, listed companies are required under the Listing Rules to publish their announcements on their own websites, in addition to publishing them on the HKEXnews website. Therefore, investors can access listed companies’ latest announcements through the companies’ own websites if the HKEX website fails to provide service.

Moreover, various Internet service providers have been engaged to minimise any negative impact on the HKEX website of the sub-par performance of any single service provider, to ensure stable website service for the public.

In cases of widespread Internet access problems in Hong Kong, the impact would not only be limited to the dissemination of issuer information. Various aspects of market operations would also be affected. HKEX may then have to invoke contingency measures and inform market participants and the public of the arrangements through any available channels.

 

4.2.10

How can investors contact listed companies?  

Investors wishing contact a listed company may refer to the share registrar for the address and contact details of a listed company. 

The share registrar is a company employed by a listed company to maintain a registrar of its shareholders in Hong Kong, and handle transfers of physical shares and investors' enquiries, etc. Share registrars' services include dispatching corporate communications including financial reports and shareholders circulars on behalf of listed companies, to registered shareholders, distributing cash and scrip dividends, handling claims for uncollected benefits, share transfers and issuing replacement certificates.

The name and contact numbers of the share registrar of a listed company is available under the Company/Securities Profile at the Investment Services Centre on the HKEX website.  Investors may also refer to the annual report of a listed company for the address or ask the telephone company for its telephone number. 

Investment Service Centre at the HKEX website also provides company information, including the name of the chairman and address of the principal office. Without a listed company's authorisation, HKEX cannot divulge the company's other contact details.