Versions

 

11.23

There must be an open market in the securities for which listing is sought. This will normally mean that:—

(1) [Repealed 1 July 2008]
(2) with regard to all equity securities for which a listing is sought, except those specified in sub-paragraphs (3) and (4):—
(a) the market capitalisation of such equity securities (determined as at the time of listing) in the hands of the public must be at least HK$45,000,000; and
(b) there must, as at the time of listing, be an adequate spread of holders of such securities. The number will depend on the size and nature of the issue but, as a guideline, the equity securities in the hands of the public should, as at the time of listing, be held among at least 100 persons (including those whose equity securities are held through CCASS);
(3) with regard to options, warrants or similar rights to subscribe or purchase shares ("warrants") for which a listing is sought:—
(a) in the case of a new applicant:—
(i) the market capitalisation of such warrants (determined as at the time of listing) must be at least HK$6,000,000; and
(ii) there must, as at the time of listing, be an adequate spread of holders of such warrants. The number will depend on the size and nature of the issue but, as a guideline, the warrants in the hands of the public should, as at the time of listing, be held among at least 100 persons (including those whose warrants are held through CCASS); and
(b) in the case of a listed issuer:—
(i) the market capitalisation of such warrants (determined as at the time of listing) must be at least HK$6,000,000; and
(ii) save where: (a) such warrants are offered to existing holders of the issuer's shares by way of bonus issue; and (b) in the 5 years preceding the date of the announcement on the proposed bonus issue, there are no circumstances to indicate that the shares of the issuer may be concentrated in the hands of a few shareholders, there must, as at the time of listing be an adequate spread of holders of such warrants. The number will depend on the size and nature of the issue but, as a guideline, the warrants in the hands of the public should, as at the time of listing, be held among at least 100 persons (including those whose warrants are held through CCASS);
(4) in the case of a listed issuer seeking the listing of further securities of a class already listed, neither of the restrictions set out in sub-paragraph (2) and (3) shall apply;
(5) [Repealed 1 July 2008]
(6) the expected total market capitalisation of a new applicant at the time of listing must be at least HK$150,000,000 which shall be calculated on the basis of all issued shares (including the class of securities for which listing is sought and such other class(es) of securities, if any, that are either unlisted or listed on other regulated market(s)) of the new applicant at the time of listing;
(7) subject to rule 11.23(10) below, at least 25% of the issuer's total number of issued shares must at all times be held by the public;
(8) not more than 50% of the securities in public hands at the time of listing can be beneficially owned by the three largest public shareholders, save where: (a) the securities to be listed are options, warrants or similar rights to subscribe or purchase shares; (b) such securities are offered to existing holders of a listed issuer's shares by way of bonus issue; and (c) in the 5 years preceding the date of the announcement on the proposed bonus issue, there are no circumstances to indicate that the shares of the issuer may be concentrated in the hands of a few shareholders;
(9) where an issuer has one class of securities or more apart from the class of securities for which listing is sought, the total securities of the issuer held by the public (on all regulated market(s) including the Exchange) at the time of listing must be at least 25% of the issuer's total number of issued shares. However, the class of securities for which listing is sought must not be less than 15% of the issuer's total number of issued shares, having an expected market capitalisation at the time of listing of not less than HK$45,000,000;
(10) the Exchange may, at its discretion, accept a lower percentage of between 15% and 25% in the case of issuers with an expected market capitalisation at the time of listing of over HK$10,000,000,000, where it is satisfied that the number of securities concerned and the extent of their distribution would enable the market to operate properly with a lower percentage, and on condition that the issuer will make appropriate disclosure of the lower prescribed percentage of public float in the initial listing document and confirm sufficiency of public float in successive annual reports after listing (see rule 17.38A) . Additionally, a sufficient portion (to be agreed in advance with the Exchange) of any securities intended to be marketed contemporaneously within and outside Hong Kong must normally be offered in Hong Kong; and
(11) notwithstanding the requirement that the minimum prescribed percentage of securities must at all times remain in public hands, the Exchange may consider granting a temporary waiver to an issuer which is the subject of a general offer under the Takeovers Code (including a privatisation offer), for a reasonable period after the close of the general offer to restore the percentage. The issuer must restore the minimum percentage of securities in public hands immediately after the expiration of the waiver, if granted.

Notes:
1 [Repealed 1 July 2008]
2 The Exchange will not regard at any time,
(a) in relation to an issuer other than a PRC issuer, and other than any subsidiaries of a PRC issuer, a director, chief executive or substantial shareholder of such issuer or any of its subsidiaries or a close associate of any of them; or
(b) in relation to a PRC issuer, a promoter, director, supervisor, chief executive or substantial shareholder of the PRC issuer or any of its subsidiaries or a close associate of any of them
as a member of "the public" or shares held by any such person as being "in public hands".
3 The Exchange will also not recognise as a member of "the public":—
(a) any person whose acquisition of securities has been financed directly or indirectly by a person referred to in note 2 above; or
(b) any person who is accustomed to taking instructions from a person referred to in note 2 above in relation to the acquisition, disposal, voting or other disposition of securities of the issuer registered in his name or otherwise held by him.
4 [Repealed 1 July 2008]
5 Issuers should note that the minimum prescribed percentage of securities must remain in public hands at all times. If the percentage falls below the minimum, the Exchange reserves the right to cancel the listing or suspend trading until appropriate steps have been taken to restore the minimum percentage of securities in public hands (see rule 17.36).
6 Where the percentage has fallen below the minimum, the Exchange may refrain from suspension if the Exchange is satisfied that there remains an open market in the securities and either:
(a) the shortfall in the prescribed percentage arose purely from an increased or newly acquired holding of the listed securities by a person who is, or after such acquisition becomes, a core connected person only because he is a substantial shareholder of the issuer and/or any of its subsidiaries. Such substantial shareholder must not be a controlling shareholder or single largest shareholder of the issuer. He must also be independent of the issuer, directors and any other substantial shareholders of the issuer and must not be a director of the issuer. If the substantial shareholder has any representative on the board of directors of the issuer, he must demonstrate that such representation is on a nonexecutive basis. In general, the Exchange would expect this to apply to holdings of the listed securities by institutional investors with a wide spread of investments other than in the listed securities concerned. Holdings of the listed securities by private equity or venture capital funds which have been involved in the management of the issuer before and/or after listing would not qualify. It is the responsibility of the issuer to provide sufficient information to the Exchange to demonstrate the independence of such substantial shareholder and to inform the Exchange of any change in circumstances which would affect his independence as soon as it becomes aware of such change; or
(b) the issuer and the controlling shareholder(s) or single largest shareholder undertake to the Exchange to take appropriate steps to ensure restoration of the minimum percentage of securities to public hands within a specified period which is acceptable to the Exchange.
7 At any time when the percentage of securities in public hands is less than the required minimum, and the Exchange has permitted trading in the securities to continue, the Exchange will monitor closely all trading in the securities to ensure that a false market does not develop and may suspend the securities if there is any unusual price movement.
8 GEM listed issuers that have been allowed a lower minimum prescribed percentage of public float (including those which have been granted a waiver under repealed GEM Rule 11.23(5)) have a grace period of three years to comply with the public float requirement under rule 11.23. Accordingly, all GEM issuers must comply with the public float requirement by no later than 30 June 2011.