2016 AGM season review

2016 AGM season review

Lucy Newcombe, Director, Global Corporate Communications, Computershare, reports on another busy and intriguing AGM season around the globe. Hong Kong/China Five years may seem like a relatively short period of time in the grand scheme of things, a mere blip in the...
Know your investors

Know your investors

Cas Sydorowitz, Chief Executive Officer of Computershare’s proxy business in Europe, shares some advice on how companies in Asia can prepare themselves for the rising tide of shareholder activism in the region. Hong Kong-listed companies have a history of...
Demystifying shareholder engagement

Demystifying shareholder engagement

Christine Chow, Associate Director, Hermes EOS, Hermes Investment Management, answers questions on shareholder engagement raised by attendees at the recent HKICS Corporate Governance Conference 2016. At the 10th biennial Corporate Governance Conference (CGC 2016)...
Understanding competition

Understanding competition

A new HKICS guidance note suggests that, despite its reputation as a fiendishly complex and technical piece of legislation, Hong Kong’s new Competition Ordinance can be best understood with an appreciation of the nature of, and the benefits of, competition. Hong...
China's new Cybersecurity Law

China's new Cybersecurity Law

Gabriela Kennedy, Partner, and Xiaoyan Zhang, Counsel, Mayer Brown JSM, look at the implications of China’s newly passed Cybersecurity Law. On 7 November 2016, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China passed the controversial...
Beyond the disconnect – Shareholder communications in Hong Kong

Beyond the disconnect – Shareholder communications in Hong Kong

CSj takes a look at a new HKICS research report which promotes five imperatives listed companies should consider to improve their shareholder communications practices in Hong Kong. The theory is relatively simple – the owners of a business appoint directors to manage...
Shareholder communications and the company secretary

Shareholder communications and the company secretary

There is typically an investor relations function dedicated to shareholder communications in listed companies – so where does the company secretary fit in? Do company secretaries have a role to play in shareholder communications and, if so, how can they add most value...
Technology and the company secretary

Technology and the company secretary

Companies face heightened risks, as well as increased opportunities, as a result of the rapid advance of technological innovation, but what is the role of the company secretary in assisting companies to navigate these risks and exploit these opportunities? A new HKICS...
Board secretary –  gatekeeper of compliance of listed companies

Board secretary – gatekeeper of compliance of listed companies

Xie Jilong, Board Secretary, CRRC Corporation Ltd, discusses the role of the board secretary. He stresses that board secretaries must fulfil their roles, be accountable and be able to communicate well to protect the interests of various parties. It is said that the...
What you need to  know about blockchain

What you need to know about blockchain

Ken Lo, CEO, ANX International, gives an introduction to blockchain technology, its implications for the business environment and how organisations can harness its advantages. Financial technology (FinTech), which emerged in the mid-2000s, is the industry that merges...
Export control and sanctions compliance

Export control and sanctions compliance

Zoe Chan So Yuen FCIS FCS, discusses the impact of export controls and sanctions laws on international contracts. International sanctions law has emerged as an important compliance topic for corporations or individuals engaged in international trade and supply chain...
CSj November 2016 (pdf version)

CSj November 2016 (pdf version)

Shareholder Communications – Connecting issuers and owners Click the cover image below to view or download a pdf of the full...
Chairman's review

Chairman's review

Concluding the HKICS Corporate Governance Conference 2016, Event Chair Peter Greenwood FCIS FCS, made an impassioned plea to the younger people in the audience to have confidence in their abilities to bring about positive change. This has been the Institute’s...
Corporate governance  in Hong Kong –  an evolving story

Corporate governance in Hong Kong – an evolving story

In his keynote address on day one of the HKICS Corporate Governance Conference 2016, Professor KC Chan, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, traced the evolution of Hong Kong’s corporate governance system. I am delighted to join you all today at...
The road ahead

The road ahead

In his keynote address on day two of the HKICS Corporate Governance Conference 2016, Anthony Neoh FCIS FCS, Senior Counsel and Former Chief Adviser to the China Securities Regulatory Commission, looks at three trends that boards cannot afford to ignore in the emerging...
Conference conclusions part one

Conference conclusions part one

External investors and stakeholder groups have become much more active players in the corporate governance arena in Hong Kong over last decade, but they are sometimes treated with suspicion by governance players within companies. The HKICS Corporate Governance...
Conference conclusions part two

Conference conclusions part two

CSj looks at the key conference conclusions relating to shareholders, stakeholders and the latest corporate governance issues facing Mainland China. Part one of this review focused on the governance players internal to the company – directors and managers, but one of...
A passive investor's guide to active engagement

A passive investor's guide to active engagement

CSj talks to Pru Bennett, Head of BlackRock Investment Stewardship for Asia Pacific and a speaker at the HKICS CGC 2016, about her approach to engaging with investee companies in Hong Kong and the region. Could we start by talking about your background and your role...
CSJ October 2016 (pdf version)

CSJ October 2016 (pdf version)

Corporate Governance Conference 2016 – Review   Click the cover image below to view or download a pdf of the full...
What ESG reporting brings to the table

What ESG reporting brings to the table

David Graham, Chief Regulatory Officer and Head of Listing at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, and a speaker at the CGC 2016, offers some thoughts on what environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting can bring to the table for the Stock Exchange of Hong...
Proposed listing regulation reforms

Proposed listing regulation reforms

In June, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEX) jointly issued a consultation on proposed enhancements to the existing structure for listing regulation in Hong Kong. Brian Ho, Executive Director; and Megan Tang,...
Professional ethics

Professional ethics

Should ethical considerations take precedence over legal requirements? How should professionals address conflicts of interest situations encountered in their work? Dr Brian Lo FCIS FCS, Vice-President and Company Secretary APT Satellite Holdings Ltd, takes a look at...
Cross-border transfers of data

Cross-border transfers of data

Gupinder Assi, Counsel; and Kristi Swartz, Managing Partner, Hong Kong; Bryan Cave, look at due diligence measures organisations in Hong Kong should consider ahead of the implementation of Section 33 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance which imposes restrictions...
CSJ September 2016 (pdf version)

CSJ September 2016 (pdf version)

Corporate Governance Conference 2016 – Special Edition Click the cover image below to view or download a pdf of the full edition....
Board evaluation:  is Hong Kong missing out?

Board evaluation: is Hong Kong missing out?

Formal board evaluation is still at a nascent stage in Hong Kong. CSj looks at the potential benefits of the process and explores why companies in Hong Kong have been reluctant to embrace what is fast becoming a standard part of good corporate governance practice....
Board assessment and board effectiveness

Board assessment and board effectiveness

George Anderson, Katherine Moos and Alice Au, Spencer Stuart, look at six key questions all boards need to consider regarding board performance and the suitability of individual directors. Investor focus on board performance has reached new levels of intensity. The...
In conversation: insights into integrated reporting

In conversation: insights into integrated reporting

In the global investment community, there have been discussions about the importance of integrating environmental, social, and governance factors into corporate strategy and disclosures, and a movement to encourage integrated reporting. Robert Eccles, Chairman of...
CGC 2016 preview

CGC 2016 preview

CSj previews the Institute’s upcoming biennial corporate governance conference, to be held on the 23–24 September 2016 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Hong Kong. Next month, the 10th in the Institute’s series of biennial corporate governance conferences (CGCs)...
NGO governance:  new guidance

NGO governance: new guidance

A new guidance note issued by the HKICS gives a practical introduction to the governance issues relating to non-governmental organisations (NGOs). A director on your board wants to become involved in an NGO. He comes to you, as the company secretary, and wants to know...
Singapore's new sustainability reporting rules

Singapore's new sustainability reporting rules

Erin Lyon, Executive Director, CSR Asia, takes a look at the Singapore stock exchange’s new sustainability reporting requirements. The long wait for the Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX) sustainability reporting requirements is finally over. On the 20 June 2016, the...
Global connectivity  互聯互通—時代的主題

Global connectivity 互聯互通—時代的主題

Xie Jilong, Board Secretary, CRRC Corporation, highlights the economic and social opportunities resulting from the trend towards global connectivity. From the age of discovery to the proof of the earth being round, from the industrial revolution to the massive...
CSj August 2016 (pdf version)

CSj August 2016 (pdf version)

Board evaluation – Is Hong Kong missing out? Click the cover image below to view or download a pdf of the full...
The role of the board secretary 董事會秘書之職業定位

The role of the board secretary 董事會秘書之職業定位

Guo Xiangdong FCIS FCS, Deputy General Manager and Board Secretary, Guangshen Railway Co Ltd, looks at the role of the board secretary in Mainland China and compares it to the role of the company secretary in Hong Kong. The Company Law of the People’s Republic...
A prescription for a healthier business

A prescription for a healthier business

Sustainability-related risks are forcing companies to rethink the way they operate, argues Pat Dwyer, Founder and Director, the Purpose Business. On a visit to Hong Kong back in January this year, Elon Musk (founder and CEO of Space X) warned anyone considering...
Green bonds: an opportunity for Hong Kong

Green bonds: an opportunity for Hong Kong

Karen Pong, Project Coordinator, CSR Asia Hong Kong, looks at the growing global green bond market and its implications for Hong Kong and China. In a newly released report, Hong Kong as a Regional Green Finance Hub, the Financial Services Development Council (FSDC)...
Contractual risk management: tips for company secretaries

Contractual risk management: tips for company secretaries

Zoe Chan So Yuen FCS, FCIS, LLM, MCIArb, Solicitor, argues that a Supreme Court judgment in the UK will have a significant impact on contractual risk management in Hong Kong. Corporations build up a number of contracts on a daily basis with investors, directors,...
CSj July 2016 (pdf version)

CSj July 2016 (pdf version)

China update – Special edition Click the cover image below to view or download a pdf of the full...
Governance needs you: ACRU 2016 review

Governance needs you: ACRU 2016 review

Regulators at the Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries’ latest Annual Corporate and Regulatory Update (ACRU) conference highlighted the roles directors, professional practitioners and regulators need to play to ensure good governance standards are maintained...
New guidance  on ESG reporting

New guidance on ESG reporting

Katherine Ng, Senior Vice-President, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, highlights the new guidance materials on the Exchange’s website relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting. Businesses are facing increasing demands to recognise...
Asking the right questions – The Sun Tzu Art of War for engagement

Asking the right questions – The Sun Tzu Art of War for engagement

Christine Chow, Associate Director, Hermes EOS, Hermes Investment Management, is practised in the art of engaging companies on their approach to environmental, social and governance issues. In this interview with CSj, she discusses her career and shares some tips on...
AML/CFT compliance: a new HKICS initiative

AML/CFT compliance: a new HKICS initiative

CSj takes a look at a new initiative launched by the Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS) to promote anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) in the corporate service provider(s) sector in Hong Kong. In 2008 the HKICS issued...
Board communication: new CSIA guidance

Board communication: new CSIA guidance

Having access to the right information plays a major part in boards making the right decisions. A new set of guidelines published last month by the Corporate Secretaries International Association (CSIA) aims to help corporate secretaries fulfill their role supporting...
Hong Kong's new OFC regime

Hong Kong's new OFC regime

Anne-Marie Godfrey, Partner, Akin Gump, highlights the features and discusses the implications of the government’s proposed open-ended fund company (OFC) regime for Hong Kong. Under the current legal and regulatory regime relating to the establishment of...
CSj June 2016 (pdf version)

CSj June 2016 (pdf version)

Governance needs you – ACRU 2016 review Click the cover image below to view or download a pdf of the full...
The Panama Papers: implications for Hong Kong

The Panama Papers: implications for Hong Kong

In the wake of the Panama Papers leaks last month, questions are being asked about the adequacy of Hong Kong’s regulatory regime to prevent the abuse of offshore structures. Senior practitioners and corporate service providers give CSj their views about the way...
Integrated reporting: the view from Asia

Integrated reporting: the view from Asia

Outside of Japan, a relatively low number of companies in Asia are currently producing integrated reports, but this month’s In Profile interviewee – Jonathan Labrey, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Asia Pacific, International Integrated Reporting Council –...
Crowdfunding:  a democratic online marketplace?

Crowdfunding: a democratic online marketplace?

The current sources of finance for start-ups in Hong Kong are limited, so should Hong Kong be promoting crowdfunding as a alternative funding model? Hong Kong has been slow on the uptake when it comes to harnessing the huge potential of the new technologies that are...
Staying competitive

Staying competitive

Caroline Lacocque, Director of Client Services, TMF Hong Kong, looks at how Hong Kong can capitalise on its competitive advantages in the emerging business landscape. The global economy is displaying ‘a new normal’ – the volatile financial markets we have been...
Market rumour:  a revised approach

Market rumour: a revised approach

What should listed companies do if they find themselves subject to market commentaries or rumours which may require a halt of trading in their securities? Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd has published new guidance outlining its revised approach to such...
Responsible ownership

Responsible ownership

Christine Chow, Associate Director, Hermes EOS, Hermes Investment Management, takes a look at the benefits of a constructive dialogue between investors and companies. Have you ever wondered what happens to the mandatory provident fund contributions that are deducted...
The SFC's Principles of Responsible Ownership: a review

The SFC's Principles of Responsible Ownership: a review

CSj reviews the finalised draft of Hong Kong’s new investor code which seeks to provide guidance on how investors should fulfil their ownership responsibilities in relation to investments in Hong Kong listed companies. There is currently no guidance in Hong Kong...
Governance advocate

Governance advocate

CSj interviews the winner of the 2015 HKICS Prize – Anthony Rogers GSB QC JP FCIS FCS, former Vice-President of the Court of Appeal of Hong Kong and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Company Law Reform. Congratulations on receiving the HKICS prize – can we start...
Keeping an open mind

Keeping an open mind

Most people associate the Chartered Secretarial qualification with the job of an in-house company secretary of a listed company, but the qualification can lead to many different career paths. In this first interview in our new ‘Career Paths’ series, James Wong,...
Are you sure  you want to  join a board?

Are you sure you want to join a board?

So you’ve been asked to join a board? You’ll surely do your own due diligence, but beware of a potentially dangerous threat: your own brain. I often ask senior executives and experienced directors if they want to join the board of a hypothetical company. I disguise...
Going paperless

Going paperless

Not gone paperless in the boardroom yet? Phillip Baldwin, Director ICSA Boardroom Apps (HK) Ltd, hopes to change your mind. There are many digital meeting solutions on the market, some better than others and a lot has been written about why companies should go...
Landmark decision expands insider dealing regime

Landmark decision expands insider dealing regime

Mark Johnson, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton, looks at the recent decision by the Court of First Instance in The Securities and Futures Commission v Young Bik Fung and Others which has expanded the insider dealing regime in Hong Kong. The Court of First Instance...
CSj April 2016 (pdf version)

CSj April 2016 (pdf version)

Responsible ownership – Why companies need engaged investors Click the cover image below to view or download a pdf of the full...
The new Companies Ordinance: second anniversary review

The new Companies Ordinance: second anniversary review

It has been two years since the implementation of the new Companies Ordinance, Chapter 622 of the Laws of Hong Kong, on 3 March 2014. In this article, the Companies Registry reviews what the law has achieved for Hong Kong and highlights some of the more commonly...
A career considered

A career considered

At the end of last year, April Chan retired as Company Secretary of CLP Holdings. Her career took her to the top of the corporate secretarial profession as a former president of both the HKICS and the Corporate Secretaries International Association and as the company...
The Competition Ordinance – your questions answered

The Competition Ordinance – your questions answered

Since December 2015, businesses in Hong Kong have needed to ensure compliance with Hong Kong’s new Competition Ordinance. This month, the Competition Commission answers key questions about the Ordinance, the Commission’s enforcement priorities and how to...
Talking strategy

Talking strategy

CSj talks to the new HKICS President, Ivan Tam, about the way forward for the Institute and the profession in the years ahead. Thanks for giving us this interview. Could we start by discussing the strategic goals you will be working towards during your term as HKICS...
Concise and  precise: the art of taking minutes

Concise and precise: the art of taking minutes

This month we launch the first in a new series of articles looking at the practical skills and knowledge company secretaries need to acquire. Anthony Rogers GSB QC JP FCIS FCS, former Vice-President of the Court of Appeal of Hong Kong and a Senior Member of the HKICS,...
Company secretaries – know your duties

Company secretaries – know your duties

A recently concluded Market Misconduct Tribunal hearing highlighted the essential responsibilities and duties of company secretaries in Hong Kong. Mike Scales FCS FCIS, former Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Hong Kong Ltd,...
CSj March 2016 (pdf version)

CSj March 2016 (pdf version)

The new Companies Ordinance – Business as usual? Click the cover image below to view or download a pdf of the full...
Board portals – a company secretarial perspective

Board portals – a company secretarial perspective

CSj interviews company secretaries in Hong Kong for their views on how board portals have impacted their work, which systems they prefer and why the old-school paper system is still favoured by some. Board portals first came to prominence in the early 2000s, and were...
Going global

Going global

Eric Mok FCIS FCS,
Company Secretary and Assistant General Counsel,
Lenovo Group, tells CSj about the challenges and rewards of working as a company secretary for an organisation that has made the transition from a domestic to a multinational corporation. Computer...
Risk focus

Risk focus

The latest HKICS Regional Board Secretaries Panel (RBSP) meeting, held in Hong Kong last month, focused on the management of risk from the perspective of Mainland companies listed in Hong Kong. On 14 January this year, more than 30 corporate secretaries representing...
The new ESG reporting requirements – Your questions answered

The new ESG reporting requirements – Your questions answered

Karen Pong, Project Coordinator, CSR Asia Hong Kong, gives a quick guide to the stock exchange’s upgraded environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting requirements. Listed companies in Hong Kong should by now be aware of the decision of Hong Kong...
CSj February 2016 (pdf version)

CSj February 2016 (pdf version)

Board portals – A company secretarial perspective Click the cover image below to view or download a pdf of the full...
Connected transactions – the compliance challenge

Connected transactions – the compliance challenge

Complex though they may be, Hong Kong’s connected transaction rules can be better understood if the basic principles behind the regulations are grasped. This month, CSj looks at the rationale behind the rules and at the role of the company secretary in ensuring...
Changes to payment regulations in Hong Kong

Changes to payment regulations in Hong Kong

Gabriela Kennedy and Karen Lee, Mayer Brown JSM, outline Hong Kong’s new regulatory regime for payment systems and stored value facilities. Mobile payments, digital wallets and contactless payments are easy and efficient methods for retail payment that are...
Risk management and corporate governance

Risk management and corporate governance

The winning paper in the Institute’s latest Corporate Governance Paper Competition argues that risk management is an essential part of a healthy corporate governance framework. In this second and final part of their article, the authors look at examples of best...
Clarifying Hong Kong's AML regime

Clarifying Hong Kong's AML regime

Mohan Datwani FCIS FCS (PE) Senior Director and Head of Technical & Research, HKICS, and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, looks at the background to two cases HKSAR v Salim Majed & Anor and HKSAR v Yeung Ka Sing, Carson, scheduled to be heard by...
Shareholders' rights:  an update

Shareholders' rights: an update

A new Court of Final Appeal ruling casts new light on the enforcement of shareholders’ rights in respect of a non-Hong Kong company which does not have a place of business in Hong Kong. In a shareholders’ dispute involving the affairs of a non-Hong Kong company, a...
Thoughts on poll voting

Thoughts on poll voting

Seaman Kwok, Head, Corporate Secretarial, Boardroom Corporate Services (HK) Ltd, and Director, Boardroom Share Registrars (HK) Ltd, argues that more flexibility should be given to listed companies to use the most appropriate voting method for passing resolutions at...
CSj January 2016 (pdf version)

CSj January 2016 (pdf version)

Connected transactions – The compliance challenge   Click the cover image below to view or download a pdf of the full...