Hong Kong regulator continues tough sanctions for breaches of disclosure

April 13, 2017

HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s  Market Misconduct Tribunal has fined Mayer Holdings Limited and nine of Mayer's current and former senior executives a total of HK$10.2 million for breaches of disclosure obligations under Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Ordinance, and disqualified them from being directors or being involved in the management of a listed corporation for up to 20 months.

The relevant breaches included failure to disclose certain audit issues affecting Mayer and a delay of over three weeks in disclosing the auditors' resignation.

Lawyers Baker McKenzie say the decision demonstrates the MMT's readiness to impose tough sanctions for breaches of statutory corporate disclosure laws.

In February, the MMT sanctioned another listed company (Yorkey Optical International (Cayman) Limited,), its CEO and financial controller for breaches of the disclosure requirements.

The MMT found there was a 13-week delay in Yorkey's disclosure of material losses as a result of the reckless conduct of its officers. The company and the CEO were each fined HK$1 million.

BM says the MMT sanctioned a wider range of senior management in the Mayer case.

It fined a former executive director and the former company secretary (also the then financial controller) HK$1.5 million each and disqualified them from being a director or being involved in the management of a listed corporation for 20 months.

The MMT also fined the other executive directors and non-executive directors HK$00,000 each and imposed a disqualification order for 12 months.

BM says the sanctions send a clear message that breaches of the disclosure obligation will be taken seriously. “All senior management and officers of listed companies should take steps to ensure that they understand and discharge their personal responsibilities to comply with the disclosure requirements at all times,” it warns. www.bakermckenzie.com (ATI).