Hong Kong Stock Exchange publishes draft Listing Rules for the listing of biotech companies and innovative companies with WVRs and the secondary listing of companies with a centre of gravity in Greater China and/or WVRs

On 23 February 2018, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (the “Exchange”) published the Consultation Paper on The Listing Regime for Companies from Emerging and Innovative Sectors.

Key points
  1. There are no surprises. The draft Listing Rules closely follow the proposals announced by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in December 2017. Companies with WVRs and which demonstrate “the necessary characteristics of innovation and growth” will be eligible to list in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, there is no new insight as to what constitutes “innovative”. 
  2. New regime will come soon. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is working on an expedited timetable.  The consultation period for the draft Listing Rules will end on 23 March 2018.
  3. Start your engines. Notwithstanding the new Listing Rules not having been finalised, the Exchange will respond to pre-IPO enquiries on the listing of companies which may satisfy the criteria in the proposed new rules on an informal basis now. Formal pre-A1 submissions can be made after publication of the consultation conclusions, and listing applications can be submitted after the new regime comes into effect.

Read our summary report on the draft rules.