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Principal Intermediaries in Hong Kong and Their Roles in Listing

Sponsors

Companies seeking listing must appoint an eligible sponsor who must meet the following requirements:

Main Board

  • Must be a HKEx participant, an issuer, a merchant bank or other parties recognised by HKEx;
  • According to the Main Board Listing Rules, a PRC issuer must continue to appoint for at least a year after listing its sponsor or other financial adviser or professional securities dealer recognised by HKEx.

GEM

  • Must be licensed and registered under the Securities and Futures Ordinance and picked from the list of GEM sponsors approved by HKEx;
  • Must have a fixed appointment period covering at least the remainder of the current financial year and the two financial years thereafter.

Roles and duties

  • As coordinator and leader in the whole complex listing process, the sponsor should help the company seeking listing (the company) prepare for listing and deal with HKEx on all matters arising in connection with the applicant;
  • Provide professional financial advice on listing;
  • Act as the main communication channel between SEHK, CSRC, HKSFC and various professional intermediaries;
  • Prepare all relevant documents;
  • Ensure that all the important information of the company is fully and accurately disclosed in the prospectus;
  • Ensure that all directors of the company understand their obligations as directors of a listed company;
  • Map out share promotion strategy;
  • Organise underwriters.

Reporting Accountants

All accountants’ reports of the company must be compiled by professional accountants accredited the qualification of company auditors under the Professional Accountants Ordinance. These professional accountants must be independent of the issuer.

Roles and duties

  • Responsible for preparing the accountants’ report which will be included in the prospectus so that potential investors can make investment decisions based on full knowledge of information;
  • Audit the financial records and financial position of the company;
  • Prepare the company accounts according to relevant accounting standards and supervision guidelines.

Legal Advisers

The law stipulates that the company applying for listing must appoint two Hong Kong lawyers to act as legal advisers for the company as well as for the sponsor and underwriter respectively. If the company has business both on the Chinese mainland and overseas, it must also appoint a local lawyer to provide legal advice with regard to the jurisdiction concerned.

Roles and duties

  • Provide professional legal advice to the company;
  • Ensure that the company observes the laws of the various relevant jurisdictions;
  • Work closely with the sponsor and reporting accountants to restructure the company in preparation for listing.

Asset Valuers

The company seeking listing must, before going public, appoint an asset valuer to assess the value of its property and other assets.

Roles and duties

  • Assess the value of the land and property rights and interests of the company;
  • Prepare a valuation report to be included in the prospectus.

Underwriters/Placing Agents

They are typically securities firms and HKEx participants.

Roles and duties

  • Sell the company’s securities during a share offering;
  • Purchase any shares not taken up by investors.

Financial Public Relations Agencies

Roles and duties

  • Assist in coordinating and implementing the work of promoting the company seeking listing;
  • Generate interest in the company among investors and the public.
Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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