Report on Improving Corporate Governance in Hong Kong – A Comparative Based Study

Two AIIFL Fellows – Syren Johnstone and Say Goo – have made 28 recommendations to improve Hong Kong’s corporate governance system.

The report, prepared for the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), is a detailed comparative study that considers the corporate governance systems in Hong Kong, United States, United Kingdom, Mainland China, and Singapore.

The study found that Hong Kong’s corporate governance system is generally on a par with international best practices in many areas, including its statutory law, non-statutory listing rules and codes, and gateway mechanisms for new listings.

However, there are a number of areas of concern in which Hong Kong must do significantly better to protect the competitiveness of its public capital market and the shareholders who invest in it.

Three key areas that should receive more immediate attention are:

1. The board and its processes and standards
2. The enforcement regime (including for both shareholders and regulators)
3. Matters concerning system architecture and policy development.

Reflecting one of the guiding concepts of the study to produce practical and implementable recommendations, of the 28 recommendations only two require a change to legislation, with another four possibly requiring legislative change subject to the outcome of a further consultative process.

The full report and recommendations are available at https://bit.ly/2KhYN3B.