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Extension of “black out” period

Regulatory
30 Dec 2008

On 28 November 2008, The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, published its "Consultation Conclusions on Proposals in the 2008 Combined Consultation Paper" (Consultation Conclusions).  The Consultation Conclusions and the related news release can be viewed at:http://www.hkex.com.hk/eng/newsconsul/mktconsul/documents/cc200811.pdf and
http://www.hkex.com.hk/eng/newsconsul/hkexnews/2008/0811282news.htm respectively.

Amendments to the Main Board Listing Rules and the Growth Enterprise Market Listing Rules to implement the various proposals set out in the Consultation Conclusions are due to take effect on 1 January 2009.

One of these proposals is the extension of the “black out” period, during which a director is prohibited from dealing in securities of the listed issuer, from the end of each of the listed issuer’s financial periods to the date that the listed issuer publishes the relevant financial results (the Rule).  Currently, the black out period covers only one month before the publication of financial results.

The Listing Committee has today considered the recent comments from listed issuers, the media and Legislative Councillors on the Financial Affairs Panel together with views from the statutory regulator.

In particular, the Listing Committee notes that the scale of the change in the length of the black out period has been perceived as dramatic and that the change has been introduced at too short notice.  The Listing Committee is entirely satisfied with the integrity of the consultation process relating to these proposals. However to respond to these concerns, the Listing Committee has decided to defer implementation of the Rule, which has been properly approved by the Securities and Futures Commission after due process, until 1 April 2009.

The Listing Committee will not be withdrawing the Rule.

The Listing Committee strongly believes that the Rule is in the long-term interest of Hong Kong and in the interest of the investing public.

Updated 30 Dec 2008

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