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Corporate News Alert - February 2020
Submitted by // Corporate Team
05 February 2020


Corporate News Alert - the Joint Statement in relation to Results Announcements in light of Travel Restrictions related to the Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent published by SFC and the Exchange

On 4 February 2020, The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange) issued the Joint Statement in relation to Results Announcements in light of Travel Restrictions related to the Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent (the "Joint Statement") suggesting all listed issuers getting in touch with the regulators and providing explanations if they are unable to complete or issue their financial results on or before the 31 March 2020 deadline amidst the coronavirus outbreak or the related travel and other restrictions.

Key points to note:

  • There is no blanket extension in financial reporting deadline. The Exchange and SFC will only approve any delay on a case-by-case basis.
  • If a listed issuer consider that there is a real possibility for it to miss the deadline, they must inform the Exchange immediately and notify its shareholders with adequate provision of information in relation to the travel or other restrictions, the reason(s) for delay, the financial information that it is still able to report, as well as the impact of the restrictions on the accuracy, completeness and presentation of the financial information available.
  • Where no agreement from the issuer's auditors is obtained but the issuer is otherwise in all respects able to publish its preliminary results in full compliance with the other Listing Rules reporting requirements, it should publish such preliminary results (without the agreement with its auditors) with caution statements on or before the deadline. In such cases, the Exchange will normally allow trading in the issuer's securities to continue.
  • In all other cases, the Exchange, in consultation with SFC, will assess whether the publication of the financial information that the issuer is able to report on will be sufficient to maintain an orderly, informed and fair market, taking into account of the issuer's audit committees on the unaudited financial information available to the issuers. The issuer should be reasonably satisfied that the information is accurate and complete in all material aspects.
  • The issuer's management should assess whether any inside information has arisen and, if so, make a separate announcement as soon as reasonably practicable, independent of any applicable Listing Rule requirement even if the coronavirus outbreak and/or the related travel restrictions may have materially disturbed the issuer's business operations, reporting controls, systems, processes or procedures.

Please refer to the Joint Statement for full and further details.


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