Hong Kong Published New Companies Bill

Hong Kong Published New Companies Bill

In the end of last week the new Companies Bill approved by the Legislative Council month ago was published in the Hong Kong’s Gazette.

The bill is the result of 6-years work of Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, Standing Committee on Company Law Reform, four advisory groups and Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants on corporate legislation improvement.

The bill contains provisions which:

-          improve the accountability of directors, clarify directors’ duty of care and diligence;

-          emphasize shareholders engagement in the decision-making process;

-          improve the disclosure of company information procedure;

-          strengthen auditors’ rights;

-          improve the registration of charges schemes;

-          simplify reporting for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The purpose of new Companies Ordinance development was corporate legislation modernization, corporate governance improvement and strengthening Hong Kong's competitiveness as an international business and financial center.

The new Companies Ordinance will take effect on a date to be appointed by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury. Before it comes into force, the government should submit implementing subsidiary legislation to the Legislative Council for considering and approving in 2013. It is expected that the new Companies Ordinance will be applied from 2014.

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