The board of directors of an issuer is collectively responsible for its management and operations. The Exchange expects the directors, both collectively and individually, to fulfil fiduciary duties and duties of skill, care and diligence to a standard at least commensurate with the standard established by Hong Kong law. This means that every director must, in the performance of his duties as a director:—
Directors must satisfy the required levels of skill, care and diligence. Delegating their functions is permissible but does not absolve them from their responsibilities or from applying the required levels of skill, care and diligence. Directors do not satisfy these required levels if they pay attention to the issuer's affairs only at formal meetings. At a minimum, they must take an active interest in the issuer's affairs and obtain a general understanding of its business. They must follow up anything untoward that comes to their attention.
Directors are reminded that if they fail to discharge their duties and responsibilities, they may be disciplined by the Exchange and may attract civil and/or criminal liabilities under Hong Kong law or the laws of other jurisdictions.
Note: These duties are summarised in "A Guide on Directors' Duties" issued by the Companies Registry. In addition, directors are generally expected by the Exchange to be guided by the Guidelines for Directors and the Guide for Independent Non-executive Directors published by the Hong Kong Institute of Directors (www.hkiod.com). In determining whether a director has met the expected standard of care, skill and diligence, courts will generally consider a number of factors. These include the functions that are to be performed by the director concerned, whether he is a fulltime executive director or a part-time non-executive director and his professional skills and knowledge.