New IPO Sponsor Regulatory Regime
A material milestone of the Hong Kong IPO process – the new IPO sponsor regulatory regime (the "New Sponsor Regime") – will be implemented on 1 October 2013. The new requirements under the New Sponsor Regime will apply to all listing applications (the "applications", each an "application" or "A1") submitted on or after 1 October 2013 (subject to certain exceptions). There are two major limbs to the New Sponsor Regime:
- Pursuant to the "Consultation Conclusions on the regulation of IPO sponsors" published by the Securities and Futures Commission (the "SFC") on 12 December 2012 to implement the New Sponsor Regime, the key obligations of IPO sponsors will be consolidated and centralised in a new paragraph 17 of the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the SFC (the "Code of Conduct").
- To cope with the implementation of the New Sponsor Regime, The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the "HKEx") will implement various measures including amending the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on the HKEx (the "Listing Rules" or "LR"), streamlining the listing vetting process, issuing/revising various guidance letters on logistics, disclosure and other requirements and revising certain IPO sponsor’ rules, undertakings and declarations.