Market Turnover


Exchange Publishes Listing Decisions on Reasons for Rejection and Return of New Listing Applications

13 Apr 2016

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), today (Wednesday) published two Listing Decisions to enhance transparency and market understanding of how the Exchange interprets and applies the Listing Rules' eligibility and suitability requirements for new listings, and how it decides whether to return new listing applications.

The Listing Decisions on "Reasons for rejection of new listing applications in 2015" and "Reasons for returning new listing applications in 2015" highlight the factors in the Exchange's decisions in:

  • Rejecting applications from companies which do not meet the eligibility criteria under the Listing Rules and/or are not considered suitable for listing; and
  • Returning applications where the application proof and/or other documents are not substantially complete under the Listing Rules1.

The Exchange noted that since the introduction of Listing Rules and related guidance on the new sponsor regime that was implemented in October 2013, the vetting of new listing applications has been more efficient, with applications presented to the Listing Committee within a shorter time frame.  Furthermore, applicants that are not eligible or suitable for listing are identified and rejected more quickly under the new sponsor regime.

"Both the Listing Committee and the Listing Department continue to focus considerable attention on the substantive issues of an application and reject applicants on the grounds of eligibility and/or suitability in order to maintain market quality.  Our rationale in certain cases is set out in the Listing Decisions to enhance transparency," said David Graham, HKEX's Chief Regulatory Officer and Head of Listing.  "Since the introduction of the new sponsor regime in 2013, sponsors have become more familiar with the regime and the Exchange now receives better quality draft listing documents and related submissions, as evidenced by the decrease in the number of returned applications.  Sponsors involved in listing applications that are returned can be identified on the HKEX website and there is no doubt that has helped improve the quality of the listing applications we see." 

Key data on new applications for the two years ended 2015



New Listing applications made under Chapter 8 of the Main Board Listing Rules and Chapter 11 of the Growth Enterprise Market Board Listing Rules accepted



Applications rejected by the Listing Committee or the Listing Department



Lapsed applications



Withdrawn applications



Returned applications



Percentage of new applications presented to the Listing Committee within 120 days from the date of application3



Whilst the lapsed and withdrawn applications mentioned above were not "rejected applications", a majority of these applicants were unable to satisfactorily address all regulatory comments raised during the vetting process and therefore have not been listed on the Exchange.

Listing decisions HKEX-LD100-2016 and HKEX-LD101-2016 can be found on the HKEX website.

In 2013, the Exchange began publishing Listing Decisions on reasons for rejection and return of listing applications to provide greater transparency to the market.  The previous Listing Decisions are also available on the HKEX website.

1 Returned applications cannot be resubmitted until the expiry of an eight-week moratorium period and the returned applicant and its sponsor's names will be published on the HKEX website.
2 Six of the 10 returned applications in 2014 were made before mandatory disclosure of returned applications on the HKEX website which commenced on 1 April 2014.
3 For the year ended 2013, the percentage of new applications presented to the Listing Committee within 120 days from the date of application was 54 per cent.


Updated 13 Apr 2016