Transcript of remarks by FS (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Financial Secretary, Mr Paul Chan, after attending Summit on New Directions for Taxation this afternoon (October 23):
Reporter: Secretary, what is the Government's considerations with regards to the setting up of a new board versus dual-class weighted share voting? And do you mean that you are actually pushing for it to happen on the main board and leave or set aside setting up a new board?
Financial Secretary: Well, in respect of weighted voting rights, in the earlier discussion in the Financial Leaders Forum, we reckon that this type of corporate structure is quite common among new-economy companies, and this seems to be a trend. And for those promising companies with a weighted voting rights structure is not uncommon. So it seems to us that perhaps if we can put in place adequate safeguards, these companies can be allowed to be listed. So we have asked the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to go back to work out proposed safeguard details for us to further consider.
     As to if these companies are allowed to be listed on the stock exchange, whether it would be a new board or to be put in the existing board under a separate chapter, this is a secondary consideration, this should not be too difficult. Well, basically our discussion was like that.
Reporter: But we've incorporated, we've tried introducing dual-class shares structure into the new board before. There was this proposal a while ago, and that was rejected by the SFC. What's going to be different this time?
Financial Secretary: Well, as I mentioned earlier, the important point is, for these new-economy companies, if we allow them to be listed, what would be appropriate safeguards for shareholders? Over these past few years, I think we have all observed a better trend in the development of this particular sector and do have a better grasp of the future direction. So under different sets of circumstances now, we do believe, if we can have a proper safeguard design and have them put in place, allowing companies with weighted corporate structures to be listed is not impossible.
 (Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, October 23, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:44