21 October 2010
The Isle of Man government announced on October 18 that it had been notified by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong that the territory has been accepted as an ‘approved jurisdiction’ for the purposes of the listing of its companies on that exchange.
In gaining approval, the Isle of Man joins a select group of countries which have been accepted by the Hong Kong Listing Committee. In the case of the Isle of Man, companies incorporated under the two main bodies of company legislation in the Isle of Man – the Companies Acts 1931-2004 and the Companies Act 2006 – can be listed on the Exchange.
Welcoming the Exchange’s decision, the Isle of Man government said: “This important recognition has been achieved on the basis that the Isle of Man has been able to demonstrate equivalence in its standards of investor and shareholder protection to those available under Hong Kong company law, a further prerequisite being that the Isle of Man is a full signatory to the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding.”
Juan Watterson Political Member of the Department of Economic Development responsible for financial services, added: “This paves the way for the Isle of Man to attract foreign issuers to list on the HKSE. In recent years, the island has become the leading jurisdiction for listing foreign companies on the UK’s AIM market; a number of our commercial law firms already have considerable international expertise working with Asian lawyers including equity and debt issues by Isle of Man companies on other Asian exchanges and in some cases have representative offices in Asia. We are constantly looking for ways to improve and build on the Island’s international reputation as a high quality International Business Centre, and this listing approval is a further example of this commitment”.
For his part, Minister for Economic Development, Allan Bell, said: “The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is assuming greater importance among the leading capital markets. Given the Isle of Man’s proven credentials in Asia and unique status, for example, in facilitating manufacturers in greater China to import goods into the European Union, we see this endorsement by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as further strengthening the role that we are able to play in enabling international trade.”