Editorial : "W shares" mark a new era

【明報專訊】THE HONG KONG EXCHANGES AND CLEARING (HKEX) has announced its conclusions of its consultation on amending listing rules, giving the green light to companies with "weighted voting rights" (WVR) structures and biotech firms with no record of profits. Starting next week, listing applications by such companies will be accepted in Hong Kong. There are even plans to further speed up such processes through the launch of another consultation exercise concerning proposals of permitting corporations to hold shares with special voting rights. Like it or not, WVR is now a worldwide trend. However, WVR-structured companies applying for listings can be of varying qualities. In order to safeguard the interests of small investors, the bourse must do a good job of quality check and adopt strict and stringent standards when examining the applications. As for the suggestion of loosening restrictions on holding privileged shares by corporations, an in-depth discussion on the matter is necessary. The HKEX must examine all the pros and cons seriously and refrain from jumping the gun.