Hong Kong stock exchange 'listens to business concerns'

31 December 2008

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEC), the organisation behind the Hong Kong stock exchange, has responded to concerns from the business world over its plans to extend a director trading blackout.

Spokesman for the operator Richard Williams acknowledged claims made in an open letter by 236 listed companies that the proposals appear to be both hasty and severe and revealed that they will now be delayed from January 1st until April 1st, Dow Jones reports.

A one-month ban on corporate directors trading shares is currently in place and HKEC had wanted to extend it until the results for the next financial period are announced in an attempt to strengthen corporate governance practices and prevent insider trading.

"The length of the blackout period has been perceived as dramatic and that the change being introduced at too short notice," said Mr Williams.

Hong Kong's legislative council panel on financial affairs requested that the plans be delayed earlier this month, according to local newspaper the Standard.

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