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Speech by FS at Stock Code Balloting for Charity Scheme
Cocktail Reception (English only) (with photos)
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Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at the "Stock Code Balloting for Charity Scheme" Cocktail Reception today (October 17) (English only):

Charles, Raymond, honourable guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to be here this evening to join you in acknowledging the generous contributions made by many newly listed companies in Hong Kong under this innovative Stock Code Balloting for Charity Scheme. I may add, actually this is the brainchild of Charles himself íV just to show you how innovative he can be.

We all know that some numbers are regarded by Chinese people as having auspicious meanings.  Many of our newly listed companies will of course like to adopt one of those as their stock code, or pick some other numbers which are of special meaning to them.  Under this Stock Code Balloting for Charity Scheme, companies are able to choose their own stock codes by making a donation to the Community Chest, a worthwhile cause, I may say.  And I am pleased to note that the Scheme has been very well received.  Since its introduction in 1999, the Scheme has generated a total donation of nearly HK$100 million, involving 130 companies listed on the Main Board or the GEM.  

It is also remarkable that nearly 40% of the companies taking part in the Scheme are Mainland enterprises, including red-chip and H-share companies.  Some of these Mainland companies might not have offices in Hong Kong, but they still chose to contribute to this worthy cause íV the Community Chest.  I would like to thank them for their interest and support to charity work across the boundary of Hong Kong.  

The Community Chest has been serving our community well for almost 37 years, helping millions of people to meet their special needs.  By partnering with the Community Chest in introducing this Scheme, the HKEx has set a good example of corporate citizenship and demonstrated to corporate Hong Kong how companies can contribute towards building a caring community through creativity and partnership with the welfare sector.  I hope more private companies would follow your lead and contribute to further strengthening of social capital in our community.

On this special occasion, I would like to congratulate the HKEx and the Community Chest on your successful introduction of the Scheme.  It is a bit late for us to congratulate you. But the 100 million dollar mark is a very special mark. So I would also like to thank all participating companies for your generous donations.  I sincerely hope the business community will continue with your efforts, not only in donations for charity work, not necessarily just in balloting, but more important, in supporting the continued development of a caring community and in making Hong Kong a better place for everyone.  

Thank you very much.

Ends/Monday, October 17, 2005
Issued at HKT 20:15

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