The initial public offering (IPO) of Alibaba,
China’s largest e-commerce company, has sparked
debate about how the Hong Kong Exchange (HKEx) should treat
so-called innovative companies with different managerial
HKEx and the Securities and Futures
Commission’s (SFC) one-vote-per-share rule has
prohibited companies with dual-class shares and similar
structures to list on the exchange.
But Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, has
insisted on listing the technology company with a structure
that allows its partners to nominate directors, and then hold a
shareholders’ vote to approve the appointments.
HKEx refused this structure, but it was accepted by both the
New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.
In an October blog post, HKEx CEO Charles Li
contemplated a review of HKEx’s listing rules to
facilitate the listing of innovative companies. This coincided
with Alibaba announcing that it was postponing its listing.
This month’s IFLR
poll considers how HKEx should alter its listing rules to
appeal to innovative companies, particularly in balancing
corporate governance with special controls demanded by these
Vote now at www.iflr.com or LinkedIn.
The results will be published in the
December/January issue of IFLR magazine.