Following is the transcript of the stand-up session made by the Financial Secretary, Mr Antony Leung, to the media on the Report by Expert Group to Review the Operation of the Securities and Futures Market Regulatory Structure at the Central Government Offices (West Wing) this (March 21) evening:
Today I have received a Report from the Expert Group, I welcome the Report.
I commend the Expert Group, led by Mr. Alan Cameron and with Dr Raymond Ch'ien and Mr Peter Clarke as members, for their extensive consultation on, and thorough examination of, the regulation of listing matters.
The Expert Group has set out its views on the direction for the future development of the regulatory regime. We believe that the direction recommended is appropriate and will enhance the quality of our market.
Our regulatory regime must evolve in tandem with new market developments if Hong Kong is to strengthen its competitivenessas an international financial centre and the front region center particularly for the mainland companies.
We will work with Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Exchange (HKEx) and others to draw up a programme for implementing the Expert Group's recommendations for the transfer of listing functions. We will put forward a proposal to the Executive Council as soon as possible.
We are fully aware that the implications of the Expert Group's recommendations on the future roles of SFC and HKEx. We will, in conjunction with the other parties, endeavour to ensure that the changes will be bottom-line neutral to HKEx as a listed company.
We are also sensitive to the needs of the market and will take every possible step to ensure that the transition is smooth, that the new listing regime has an appropriate balance of market savvy and regulatory expertise, and that the new listing arrangements will be both user-friendly and conducive to healthy market development.
We look forward to the implementation of the recommendations in respect of listing matters in 18 months.
(Please also refers to the Chinese portion.)
End/Friday, March 21,2003