Many listed companies are dynamic and fast moving. Shareholders have every right to know any relevant company developments as they happen, particularly those that can affect share prices. Information contained in company announcements and financial reports is crucial in helping you as a shareholder appraise a listed company.
Where can I find corporate information?
- Companies listed on the Main Board or Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) companies have to post their announcements on the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx) website and the GEM website (Note). Some listed companies may post notices on their websites as well.
- Registered shareholders receive annual reports after the financial year end. Interim reports of a listed company's activities, as well as un-audited financial statements covering the first six months of each financial year, are also sent to shareholders. GEM companies have to publish quarterly reports as well.
- A listed company has to send circulars to shareholders when it undertakes certain transactions.
- If you are a non-registered shareholder (say your shares are held through your brokerage or bank in nominee names in CCASS), you can ask your intermediary for this information or arrange for the corporate documents to be sent to you directly.
What is in company announcements?
Common types of public announcements include profit and loss account, notices of annual / extraordinary general meetings, changes in business nature / directorships, book close date for stock transfers, a proposed rights issue, a share placing, discloseable / connected transactions, a possible takeover and merger, proposed privatization by the controlling shareholder and reasons for unusual price or volume fluctuation.
The SEHK or the SFC must first vet the company announcements to ensure full and clear disclosure. Company directors take full responsibility for the accuracy of the announcement contents.
Sometimes information contained in the announcements is little more than routine, but often it is vital. It may require shareholders' action or may be new information on the company that helps investors appraise their shareholdings.
Starting from 1 January 2013, a listed company has a statutory duty to disclose inside information in a timely manner. Please click here for more details.
Do substantial shareholders have to declare their interests?
- Under the Securities and Futures Ordinance, people holding 5% or more and a short position of 1% or more in the voting shares in a listed company must disclose their interest. Interests held by the person's spouse or child under the age of 18 should be included in calculating whether there is a disclosure duty.
- Further movements which take the interests of a substantial shareholder through a whole percentage level (e.g. 6%, 7%) are also discloseable.
- A substantial shareholder with a short position has to make a disclosure if the percentage level of his short position reaches 1% or more.
- Directors and chief executives of listed companies also have to disclose if they have interests or short positions in the shares of and interests in debentures of the listed company or any of its associated companies.
- The disclosure must be filed with the SEHK and the listed company within three business days of dealing.
- Substantial shareholders and directors may be prosecuted if they fail to make the reports.
- These disclosure reports are published on the disclosure of interests section of the HKEx's website.
Note: Investors can also find listed companies' information through HKEx's Bulletin Board service.