Chapter 14A

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Question:

An issuer proposes to obtain written shareholder approval of a major transaction and make relevant disclosure in the announcement. Does the issuer need to obtain the Exchange's prior approval of this arrangement before it publishes the announcement?

Answer:

The Listing Rules do not specifically require an issuer to seek the Exchange's prior consent for the written shareholder approval of a major transaction. Nevertheless, if the written approval is to be given by a group of shareholders, the Rules require the issuer to provide sufficient information to the Exchange to demonstrate that the shareholders are a "closely allied group of shareholders".

If the major transaction is also a connected transaction, a waiver from convening the general meeting is required under the connected transaction rules.

FAQ Series 9, FAQ No. 17
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14.44, 14A.06(5), 14A.37 / GEM Rules 19.44, 20.06(5), 20.35
Released on 14/12/2009 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Under the non-competition agreement between Listco and its controlling shareholder, Listco has been granted a right of first refusal to acquire certain assets from the controlling shareholder at a price and on terms to be negotiated between the parties.

If Listco decides not to exercise the "right of first refusal" when the controlling shareholder proposes to sell the assets, will it be regarded as non-exercise of an option and subject to the connected transaction requirements?

Answer:

Given that the terms of the acquisition are subject to further negotiation between the parties, the right of first refusal does not constitute an option under Rule 14A.06(27). Therefore, non-exercise of the right of first refusal by Listco does not constitute a non-exercise of an option.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 7
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.06(27), 14A.24(2)(a) / GEM Rules 20.06(27), 20.22(2)(a)
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Company A is an associated company of Listco.

Mr. X is a director of Listco. Is Company A a connected person of Listco if Mr. X is also

(a) a director of Company A?
(b) a shareholder of Company A?

Answer:

(a) Company A is not a connected person of Listco simply because Mr. X is a director of Company A.
(b) It would depend on Mr. X's shareholding in Company A.
(i) If Mr. X can control the exercise of 10% or more of the voting power at general meetings of Company A:
Company A is a "commonly held entity" and any financial assistance to / from Company A is a connected transaction for Listco under Rule 14A.26.
Listco acquiring an interest in Company A is a connected transaction for Listco under Rule 14A.28.
(ii) If Mr. X can control the exercise of 30% or more of the voting power at general meetings of Company A or can control the composition of a majority of the board of Company A, Company A is an associate of Mr. X and therefore a connected person of Listco. Any transaction (including financial assistance) with Company A is a connected transaction for Listco.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 9
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.07, 14A.26, 14A.28 / GEM Rules 20.07, 20.24, 20.26
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Do the connected transaction Rules apply to any grant of loans to directors or their connected entities (as defined in the New CO) that are exempt under Part11 of the New CO which governs fair dealing by directors and transactions involving directors and their connected entities?

Answer:

Yes. It should also be noted that the scope of transactions regulated under Part 11 of the New CO and the connected transaction Rules are not the same, Hong Kong incorporated issuers must ensure that they comply with any applicable requirements under both the New CO and the Rules when they enter into loan transactions involving directors or their connected entities (as defined in the New CO) or connected persons or associates (as defined in the Rules).

FAQ Series 26, FAQ No. 12
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.07, 14A.76, 14A.87 to 14A.90 / GEM Rules 20.07, 20.74, 20.85 to 20.88
Released on 21/2/2014 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Does a substantial shareholder of a jointly controlled entity of the listed issuer fall within the definition of "connected person" under Chapter 14A of the Main Board Rules/ Chapter 20 of the GEM Rules?

Answer:

It would depend on whether the jointly controlled entity falls within the definition of "subsidiary" under Rule 1.01 of the Main Board Rules/ GEM Rules.

Where the jointly controlled entity is a "subsidiary" of the listed issuer under Main Board Rule 1.01 / GEM Rule 1.01, its substantial shareholder is a connected person of the listed issuer under Main Board Rule 14A.07 / GEM Rule 20.07. Under Rule 1.01, the term "subsidiary" includes:

(a) a "subsidiary undertaking" as defined in schedule 1 to the Companies Ordinance;
(b) any entity which is accounted for and consolidated in the audited consolidated accounts of another entity as a subsidiary pursuant to applicable Hong Kong Financial Reporting Standards or International Financial Reporting Standards; and
(c) any entity which will, as a result of acquisition of its equity interest by another entity, be accounted for and consolidated in the next audited consolidated accounts of such other entity as a subsidiary pursuant to applicable Hong Kong Financial Reporting Standards or International Financial Reporting Standards.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 33
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.07(1) / GEM Rules 20.07(1)
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Subsidiary A is a non wholly-owned subsidiary of Listco. It is owned as to 90% by Listco and 10% by Entity X.

Are Entity X and Subsidiary A connected persons of Listco?

Answer:

Entity X is a connected person of Listco because he/it is a substantial shareholder of Subsidiary A, unless Entity X falls under any exemption under Chapter 14A (e.g. the insignificant subsidiary exemption under Rule 14A.09)

If Entity X is also a "connected person at the issuer level" (e.g. Listco's director, chief executive or substantial shareholder, or an associate of any of them), Subsidiary A is a connected subsidiary and therefore a connected person of Listco.

If Entity X is a connected person only because of its relationship with Subsidiary A (and any other subsidiaries of Listco), Subsidiary A is not a connected person of Listco.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 7
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.07(1), 14A.07(5), 14A.09, 14A.16(1) / GEM Rules 20.07(1), 20.07(5), 20.08, 20.14(1)
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

A month ago, Listco sold its entire interest in its subsidiary, Company A.

Mr. X is a connected person of Listco under Rule 14A.07(2) because of his directorship in Company A before the disposal. He has no other relationship with Listco group.

Can Listco apply the insignificant subsidiary exemption to its proposed transactions with Mr. X?

Answer:

Yes, if Company A was "insignificant" under Rule 14A.31(9) at the time when it ceased to be a subsidiary of Listco.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 5A
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.07(2), 14A.09 / GEM Rules 20.07(2), 20.08
Released on 17/9/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

An issuer has completed a placing of new shares. When it assesses whether a subsidiary is "insignificant" under this Rule, does it need to adjust the assets ratio for the proceeds from the placing?

Answer:

No. The issuer should use the total assets shown in its group's audited accounts for the financial year(s) set out in the Rule without adjustments.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 1
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.09 / GEM Rules 20.08
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

An issuer acquired a majority interest in Company A a few months ago.

When assessing whether Company A is an "insignificant subsidiary" under this Rule, can the issuer refer to Company A's total assets, profits and revenue for the period after the date of acquisition?

Answer:

No. The assessment should be based on the latest financial year / three financial years described in the Rule, which may include Company A's financials before the date of acquisition.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 2
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.09 / GEM Rules 20.08
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

An issuer has recently formed a joint venture with a third party.

The joint venture is a non wholly-owned subsidiary of the issuer but it has yet to publish its first accounts. Can the issuer apply the insignificant subsidiary exemption? If yes, how will the percentage ratios be calculated?

Answer:

The exemption may apply to a newly established subsidiary even though it does not have a full year of accounts. The issuer may propose alterative size tests to assess the subsidiary's materiality.

In the circumstances described, it would normally be acceptable for the issuer to compute an alternative assets ratio based on its total capital commitment in the joint venture. The profits and revenue ratios would be inapplicable as the joint venture is newly set up. The issuer should consult the Exchange.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 3
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.09 / GEM Rules 20.08
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

When assessing whether a subsidiary is "insignificant" under this Rule, can the issuer change from the three year test to the one year test (or vice versa) from time to time?

Answer:

Yes. Both tests are meant to measure the materiality of a subsidiary.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 4
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.09 / GEM Rules 20.08
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Can the issuer apply the "anomalous test" if there are fluctuations in the subsidiary's results over the three years, for example due to exceptional performance in a particular year?

Answer:

The "anomalous test" will not apply in the circumstances described. This is because the "anomalous test" addresses circumstances where a particular percentage ratio is out of line with the others or does not reflect the subsidiary's materiality.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 5
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.09 / GEM Rules 20.08
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Listco has entered into an agreement to lease a property to Mr. X, a director of a Listco subsidiary, with fixed terms for 3 years.

At the time of the lease agreement, the subsidiary is not "insignificant" and Mr. X does not meet the conditions for the exemption. Listco has complied with the applicable connected transaction requirements.

If after 1 year, Mr. X meets the conditions for the exemption, is Listco still required to comply with the reporting and annual review requirements for the remaining term of the lease agreement?

Answer:

Listco may announce that it will apply the exemption to the lease after 1 year. Reporting and annual review of the lease will not be required as long as Mr. X meets the conditions for the exemption. If Mr. X no longer qualifies for the exemption, Listco must comply with the announcement, reporting and annual review requirements for the remaining term of the lease.

Alternatively, Listco may continue to comply with the reporting and annual review requirements for the lease in the next 2 years. If it does this, it will not be required to re-comply with the announcement requirement if Mr. X no longer qualifies for the exemption.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 7
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.09 / GEM Rules 20.08
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Listco wishes to apply the "insignificant subsidiary exemption" (or the "passive investor exemption") to the following continuing connected transactions with Company X:

(a) Listco proposes to purchase raw materials from Company X on a recurring basis. Company X currently meets the conditions for the exemption.
(i) Do they need to enter into a framework agreement for these purchases?
(ii) If they now enter into a framework agreement for the purchases for say 3 years, does it mean that all purchases conducted under this agreement are exempt?
(b) Listco also enters into an agreement with Company X to lease an office building with fixed terms for 3 years. If Company X no longer meets the conditions for the exemption after one year, will Listco need to comply with the connected transaction Rules?

Answer:

(a)(i) A framework agreement is not required if the purchases are exempt under the Rule.
(a)(ii) No. The framework agreement is not an agreement with fixed terms. If Company X no longer meets the conditions for the exemption within the three year period, Listco must comply with all applicable connected transaction Rules for its subsequent purchases from Company X.
(b) Listco is only required to comply with the reporting, annual review and announcement requirements immediately upon it becoming aware of this fact.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 6
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.09, 14A.60, 14A.99, 14A.100 / GEM Rules 20.08, 20.58, 20.97, 20.98
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

If a person is a connected person of an issuer only because of his/its relationship with the issuer's insignificant subsidiaries, would the insignificant subsidiary exemption apply to a placing of new securities by the issuer to such person?

Answer:

Yes, but the issuer must ensure that it has a specific or general mandate for the issue of new securities under Rule 13.36.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 20
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.09 / GEM Rules 20.08
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Listco has acquired certain fixed assets from Company A (being a substantial shareholder of a subsidiary of Listco), which constitutes a connected transaction subject to the announcement and reporting requirements.

Will Listco need to report the above acquisition in its next annual report if Company A becomes qualified for the insignificant subsidiary exemption based on Listco's results at the end of the year?

Answer:

Yes. Listco is required to comply with the connected transaction requirements applicable at the time of entering into the transaction.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 1
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.09 / GEM Rules 20.08
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Listco has entered into a framework agreement with Company A (being a substantial shareholder of a subsidiary of Listco) for purchasing certain raw materials at prices to be determined from time to time. It is not a connected transaction as Company A qualifies for the insignificant subsidiary exemption.

If a year later, Company A no longer meets the insignificant subsidiary exemption (and is therefore a connected person at the subsidiary level), what are the connected transaction requirements applicable to this case?

Answer:

If Listco continues to conduct the transactions under the framework agreement, it needs to comply with the announcement, reporting and annual review requirements, unless the transactions are fully exempt under the de minimis exemption.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 2
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.09, 14A.60, 14A.101 / GEM Rules 20.08, 20.58, 20.99
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

A few months ago, Listco entered into a one-off transaction with Mr. A (the Previous Transaction) who at that time qualified for the insignificant subsidiary exemption.

Mr. A is recently appointed as a director of Listco and no longer qualifies for the insignificant subsidiary exemption. When Listco enters into a new transaction with Mr. A, will it need to aggregate the proposed transaction with the Previous Transaction for the purpose of the connected transaction Rules?

Answer:

No, because the Previous Transaction was not a connected transaction for Listco.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 15
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.09, 14A.81 / GEM Rules 20.08, 20.79
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Listco proposes to issue new shares to Mr. A as the consideration for an acquisition of assets from Mr. A.

Mr. A is a director of certain insignificant subsidiaries of Listco. If Mr. A meets the conditions for the significant subsidiary exemption under Rule 14A.09 at the time of the proposed transaction, is the transaction subject to the connected transaction requirements under Chapter 14A?

Answer:

As Mr. A is not a connected person of Listco, the proposed transaction is not a connected transaction under Chapter 14A.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 21C
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.09, Note 1 to 13.36(2)(b) / GEM Rules 20.08, Note to 17.41(2)
Released on 29/5/2015

Question:

Do "close associate" and "associate" include a trustee where the beneficiary of the trust is a company controlled by a director, chief executive or substantial shareholder or any of his family interests/ immediate family members?

Answer:

Yes. For the purpose of the definitions of "close associate" and "associate", the interest of a director, chief executive or substantial shareholder, or any of his family interests/ immediate family members includes all beneficial interests directly or indirectly held by any of these parties. This would include the trustee of any trust of which -a company beneficially controlled by a director, chief executive or substantial shareholder, or any of his family interests/ immediate family members is a beneficiary. Similarly, where the substantial shareholder is a corporation, "close associate" and "associate" include the trustee of any trust of which a subsidiary of the substantial shareholder is a beneficiary.

FAQ Series 1, FAQ No. 1
LR reference: Main Board Rules 1.01, 14A.12(1)(b), 14A.13(2), 19A.04 / GEM Rules 1.01, 20.10(1)(b), 20.11(2), 25.04
Released on 30/3/2004 (Updated in February 2020)

Question:

Before the Rule amendments becoming effective, Listco has entered into an agreement for certain continuing connected transactions, and has complied with the announcement, circular and/or shareholders' approval requirements applicable to the agreement.

Can Listco apply the new/revised Rules to the continuing connected transactions to be conducted under the agreement after Rule amendments?

Answer:

Yes if the transactions to be conducted under the agreement after the Rule amendments can meet all the exemption conditions under the relevant new/revised Rules (e.g. the transactions have a total value of less than HK$3 million which are therefore fully exempt under the revised Rules). Listco may announce that it will apply the exemption to these transactions, and the reporting or annual review of the transactions will not be required in the next annual report(s).

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 25
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.12(1)(a), 14A.14, 14A.76(1)(c), 14A.96, 14A.97 / GEM Rules 20.10(1)(a), 20.12, 20.74(1)(c), 20.94, 20.95
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Listco has appointed Trustee A the trustee of its employee share scheme established for a wide scope of participants including Listco's directors and certain employees who are not connected persons. Since the interests of Listco's directors in the scheme are together less than 30%, Trustee A is not an "associate" of the directors under Rule 14A.12(1)(b) and therefore not a connected person of Listco.

(a) Is Trustee A a "close associate" of the directors under Rule 1.01?
(b) Will the shares held by Company A on behalf of the beneficiaries of the scheme be regarded as being "in public hands"?
(c) Trustee A, acting as the trustee of the scheme, holds more than 10% of Listco's total issued shares. Under the scheme, it is not allowed to exercise the voting rights attaching to shares. Is Trustee A a substantial shareholder of Listco?

Answer:

(a) Yes. The exclusion for the definition of "associate" under Rule 14A.12(1)(b) does not apply to the definition of "close associate" under Rule 1.01.
(b) No, because Trustee A is a close associate of Listco's directors and therefore a core connected person for the purpose of Rule 8.24.
(c) No. Trustee A does not fall under the definition of "substantial shareholder" under Rule 1.01.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 4A
LR reference: Main Board Rules 1.01, 8.24, 14A.12(1)(b) / GEM Rules 1.01, 11.23(11) Notes 2 and 3, 20.10(1)(b)
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

Will an employees' share scheme or occupational pension scheme be regarded as being established for a wide scope of participants based on the fact that the interests of connected persons in the scheme are together less than 30%?

Answer:

No. The scheme must satisfy both conditions to qualify for the trustee exemption. Whether or not a scheme is established for a wide scope of participants would depend on the circumstances of the individual cases.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 3
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.12(1)(b) / GEM Rules 20.10(1)(b)
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

When determining the connected persons' aggregate interests in an employees' share scheme or occupational pension scheme, does the issuer have to take into account the interests of any employees who are relatives of the issuer's directors or substantial shareholder?

Answer:

It will depend on whether the relatives are deemed to be associates of the directors/substantial shareholder in the proposed transaction with the trustee of the scheme. The issuer should provide information for the Exchange to assess whether or not to apply the deeming provision, and judgement needs to be exercised in considering whether these persons stand to benefit from the transaction.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 4
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.12(1)(b) / GEM Rules 20.10(1)(b)
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Mr. X is a director of Listco. Company A is 20% owned by Mr. X and 40% owned by his son.

Is a transaction between Listco and Company A a connected transaction?

Answer:

Yes. Since Mr. X and his son together have a majority control over Company A, Company A is Mr. X's associate and the transaction is a connected transaction for Listco.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 12
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.12(2)(b) / GEM Rules 20.10(2)(b)
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Mr. X is a director of Listco. Mr. Y is Mr. X's brother.

Company A is held by Mr. Y who can exercise more than 50% of the voting power at its general meetings. As Company A is a "majority-controlled company" held by Mr. Y, it is an associate of Mr. X and therefore a connected person of Listco.

Company B is 51% owned by Company A and is its subsidiary. Is Company B a connected person of Listco?

Answer:

Yes. Company B is also a "majority-controlled entity" held by Mr. Y because Mr. Y can, through its interest in Company A, control more than 50% of the voting power at general meetings of Company B.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 10
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.12(2)(b) / GEM Rules 20.10(2)(b)
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Is Company B an associate of Mr. X in the following scenario?

Answer:

Yes, because Company B is a 30%-controlled company of Mr. X, and it is not exempt under Rule 14A.14 as Company A (being Mr. X's associate) has an interest in Company B of more than 10%.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 5
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.14 / GEM Rules 20.12
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Is Company D as an associate of Mr. X in the following scenario?

Answer:

No. The exemption under Rule 14A.14 applies in this case because:

(i) Mr. X's 45% interest in Company D is held through Listco; and
(ii) Company C is not an associate of Mr. X. Neither Mr. X nor any of his associates has a direct interest in Company D.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 6
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.14 / GEM Rules 20.12
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Company A is a subsidiary of Listco.

Mr. X is a director of Listco. Is Company A a connected person of Listco if Mr. X is also

(a) a director of Company A?
(b) a shareholder of Company A?

Answer:

(a) Company A is not a connected person of Listco simply because Mr. X is a director of Company A.
(b) It would depend on Mr. X's shareholding in Company A. If Mr. X can control the exercise of 10% or more of the voting power at general meetings of Company A, Company A is a connected subsidiary and therefore a connected person of Listco.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 8
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.16(1) / GEM Rules 20.14(1)
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Companies A, B and C are non-wholly owned subsidiaries of Listco.

Mr. X is a director of Listco. Mr. Y is not a connected person at the Listco's level.

Company A is a connected person of Listco because of Mr. X's substantial interest in it. Companies B and C, being subsidiaries of Company A, are also connected persons.

Does the exemption under this Rule apply to:

(a) a transaction between Company A and Company B; and
(b) a transaction between Company A and Company C?

Answer:

(a) Yes, because Company B is a connected person only because it is a subsidiary of Company A.
(b) No. Company C is a connected person because it is a subsidiary of Company A AND because Mr. X is a substantial shareholder in it. The transaction does not meet the conditions for the exemption.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 14
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.17 / GEM Rules 20.15
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Mr. X is a director of Listco. Mr. Y is the Mr. X's nephew.

Company A is 20% owned by Mr. X and 40% owned by Mr. Y. Is a transaction between Listco and Company A a connected transaction?

Answer:

Yes. Normally, the Exchange would aggregate the interests of Mr. X and Mr. Y in Company A and treat Company A as a connected person for the transaction. Listco should consult the Exchange.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 13
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.21, 14A.22 / GEM Rules 20.19, 20.20
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

An issuer will enter into a lease transaction as a lessee and recognise the right-of-use asset according to HKFRS/IFRS 16.

(a) How should the issuer classify the lease under the definition of "transaction"?
(b) Does the revenue exemption under Main Board Rule 14.04(1)(g) apply to the lease?
(c) How should it calculate the percentage ratios for the lease?
(d) If the lease is entered into by the issuer with a connected person, will it be treated as a one-off connected transaction or continuing connected transaction?

Answer:

(a) The issuer will recognise an asset representing its right to use the leased asset. This will be regarded as an acquisition of asset under the definition of transaction set out in Main Board Rule 14.04(1)(a).

The classification of transaction into a finance lease or operating lease under Main Board Rule 14.04(1)(c) or 14.04(1)(d) will not apply where the issuer acts as lessee.
(b) No. The transaction is of a capital nature.
(c) Listed issuers are required to compute the assets and consideration ratios. The numerator will be the value of the right-of-use asset recognised by the issuer (which includes the present value of lease payments) according to HKFRS/IFRS 16.
(d) Where the lease is subject to an agreement with fixed terms, it is treated as a one-off connected transaction (i.e. an acquisition of capital assets).

FAQ Series N/A, FAQ No. 045-2018
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14.04(1)(a), 14.04(1)(c), 14.04(1)(d), 14.04(1)(g), 14.07, 14.22, 14.23, 14A.24(1), 14A.24(3), 14A.31 / GEM Rules 19.04(1)(a), 19.04(1)(c), 19.04(1)(d), 19.04(1)(g), 19.07, 19.22, 19.23, 20.22(1), 20.22(3), 20.29
Released on 28/09/2018

Question:

An issuer from time to time enters into leases (e.g. leases of properties, or leases of machinery and equipment) that are necessary for its business operations.

Will the issuer be required to aggregate its lease transactions entered into with the same party within a period of 12-months?

Answer:

There will be no change in the application of the aggregation Rules to lease transactions after the issuer adopting HKFRS/IFRS 16.

In the circumstances described, generally the Exchange would not require aggregation of the lease transactions solely because they are made with the same party. When applying the aggregation Rules, the Exchange would consider whether the lease transactions are connected or related in substance and whether there is a concern about "splitting" of a lease transaction into smaller ones to circumvent the notifiable/connected transaction requirements. It would take into account relevant factors including:

- whether the leases are made under a master agreement or negotiated and concluded at the same time;
- whether the leased assets form part of one asset, and/or
- whether the leases would together lead to substantial involvement by the issuer in a new business activity.

(See also Listing Decisions LD76-3 (2009) and LD64-1 (2008) where the principles and guidance provided also apply to leases of properties or fixed assets by issuers.)

Nevertheless, as the Exchange would have to consider all relevant facts and circumstances of the particular case when determining whether aggregation of transactions is required, the issuer should consult the Exchange as required under Main Board Rule 14.23B or 14A.84.

FAQ Series N/A, FAQ No. 046-2018
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14.22, 14.23, 14A.24(1), 14A.24(3), 14A.31 / GEM Rules 19.22, 19.23, 20.22(1), 20.22(3), 20.29
Released on 28/09/2018

Question:

HKFRS/IFRS 16 will become effective for annual accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019.

When listed issuers apply HKFRS/IFRS 16 retrospectively to recognise the right-of-use assets arising from existing leases, are they required to re-comply with the notifiable or connected transaction Rules for these leases?

Answer:

Listed issuers are not required to re-comply with the notifiable or connected transaction Rules for leases under fixed terms or framework agreements entered into by the issuers before the adoption of HKFRS/IFRS 16. Where existing leases have been classified as continuing connected transactions under Chapter 14A of the Main Board Rules, the issuers should continue to comply with the relevant Rule requirements.

FAQ Series N/A, FAQ No. 048-2018
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14.04(1)(a), 14.04(1)(c), 14.04(1)(d), 14A.24(1), 14A.24(3), 14A.31 / GEM Rules 19.04(1)(a), 19.04(1)(c), 19.04(1)(d), 20.22(1), 20.22(3), 20.29
Released on 28/09/2018

Question:

An issuer will enter into a lease transaction as a lessee (e.g. lease of retail outlets for operating its retail business).

Under the agreement, the annual lease payment will include: i) a fixed dollar amount (fixed lease payments); and ii) a variable amount determined as a percentage of the issuer’s annual sales generated from the leased properties (variable lease payments).

According to HKFRS/IFRS 16, the issuer will recognize a right-of-use asset taking into account the fixed lease payments. The actual variable lease payments linked to sales will be recognized as expenses in the issuer’s profit or loss accounts in the periods in which they are incurred.

(a) How should the issuer calculate the percentage ratios for the lease under Chapter 14 of the Main Board Rules?
(b) If the lessor is a connected person, how should the issuer classify the lease under Chapter 14A of the Main Board Rules?

Answer:

(a) The recognition of a right-of-use asset in relation to the fixed lease payments will be regarded as an acquisition of asset under the definition of transaction set out in Main Board Rule 14.04(1)(a). The issuer is required to compute the assets and consideration ratios by using the value of the right-of-use asset as the numerator. (see FAQ045-2018(a) and (c))

The variable lease payments linked to sales will be expenses incurred by the issuer in its ordinary and usual course of business. They are revenue in nature and are not subject to Chapter 14.
(b) Where the lessor is a connected person:
(i) The recognition of a right-of-use asset will constitute a one-off connected acquisition. The issuer is required to compute the assets and consideration ratios by using the value of the right-of-use asset as the numerator (see FAQ045-2018(d))
(ii) The variable lease payments linked to sales will be recorded as expenses by the issuer over the term of the lease. They will be treated as a continuing connected transaction under Main Board Rule 14A.31.

The issuer is required to set annual caps on the variable lease payments to be made each year under the agreement, and calculate the revenue, assets and consideration ratios.
The lease will be classified under Chapter 14A by reference to the largest percentage ratio.

(Note: There are other types of variable lease payments (e.g. variable lease payments depending on an index or rate) that are included in the initial measurement of right-of-use asset under HKFRS/IFRS 16. The treatment would be the same as fixed lease payments for the purpose of Chapters 14 and 14A.)

FAQ Series N/A, FAQ No. 046A-2018
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14.04(1)(a), 14.07, 14A.24(1), 14A.31 / GEM Rules 19.04(1)(a), 19.07, 20.22(1), 20.29
Released on 07/12/2018

Question:

A listed issuer proposes to acquire a 70% interest in a target company from a third party vendor which is not a connected person of the listed issuer. At the same time, the parties would enter into an option agreement under which the vendor grants a call option (which is exercisable at the listed issuer's discretion) to the listed issuer for acquiring all the remaining 30% interest in the target company held by the vendor.

Upon completion of the acquisition, the target company would be a subsidiary of the listed issuer and the vendor would become a connected person of the listed issuer given its substantial shareholding in the target company. Would the exercise of the call option by the listed issuer constitute a connected transaction under the Listing Rules?

Answer:

Whilst the vendor is not a connected person when the listed issuer enters into the option agreement, if the vendor has become a connected person at the time of the (discretionary) exercise of the option, the exercise of the option by the listed issuer would constitute a connected transaction pursuant to Main Board Rule 14A.25 / GEM Rule 20.23 and the listed issuer must comply with Main Board Rule 14A.79(3) / GEM Rule 20.77(3).

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 59
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.24(2)(a), 14A.25, 14A.79(3) / GEM Rules 20.22(2)(a), 20.23, 20.77(3)
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Listco has been granted an option to acquire a coal mine from its controlling shareholder within a period of three years from the date of grant.

(a) Under the option agreement, the option will be terminated if the mining license cannot be obtained within 12 months from the date of the agreement. Will such termination constitute a connected transaction for Listco?
(b) If Listco allows the option to lapse upon expiry of the option period (and the mining license was obtained), will this constitute a connected transaction for Listco?

Answer:

(a) No. Since the termination of the option is made under the term of the agreement and Listco has no discretion over the termination, it does not constitute a transaction under Note to Rule 14A.24(2)(a).
(b) Yes. As Listco decides not to exercise the option, it must classify the transaction under Rule 14A.79(4) and comply with the applicable announcement and shareholder approval requirements before expiry of the option period.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 8
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.24(2) / GEM Rules 20.22(2)
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

An issuer will enter into an operating lease (acting as a lessor) with a connected person.

(c) Will it be treated as a one-off connected transaction or continuing connected transaction?
(d) How should the issuer calculate the percentage ratios for the lease?

Answer:

(a) The operating lease will be a continuing connected transaction for the issuer. The issuer will be required to set an annual cap on the annual rental income to be received each year under the agreement.

With reference to the accounting treatment, the classification is different from lease transactions with connected persons where the issuer is the lessee (see FAQ 045-2018(d) above).
(b) The issuer should calculate each of the assets ratio, consideration ratio and revenue ratio using the maximum annual cap (or the actual annual rental income) as the numerator.

FAQ Series N/A, FAQ No. 050-2018
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.24(3), 14A.31 / GEM Rules 20.22(3), 20.29
Released on 28/09/2018

Question:

Company X is Listco's substantial shareholder.

Listco proposes to acquire from an independent third party certain convertible notes issued by Company X. Is this a connected transaction for Listco?

Answer:

Although the counterparty is an independent third party, the acquisition would result in Listco holding the outstanding convertible notes and in substance providing financial assistance to Company X. The acquisition is a connected transaction for Listco.

FAQ Series 9, FAQ No. 20
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.24(4), 14A.25 / GEM Rules 20.22(4), 20.23
Released on 14/12/2009 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Listco is a property developer and from time to time maintains term deposits and balances with various banks. It now proposes to place cash deposits with Company A on normal commercial terms.

Company A is a finance company approved by regulatory authorities in the Mainland. It only provides financial services to its group companies including Listco.

As Company A is a connected person, the proposed placing of cash deposits would be a connected transaction for Listco under Chapter 14A. Would it also constitute a transaction under Chapter 14?

Answer:

Yes. The proposed placing of cash deposits would be regarded as Listco providing financial assistance to Company A which falls within the definition of "transaction" under both Rules 14.04(1)(e) and 14A.24(4).

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 2
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14.04(1)(e), 14A.24(4) / GEM Rules 19.04(1)(e), 20.22(4)
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Mr. X is Listco's executive director. He has been providing financial assistance to support Listco's business.

Listco proposes to provide Mr. X with a corporate credit card for payment of his travelling expenses related to Listco's business. If he also uses the corporate credit card for payment of his personal purchases, Listco would set off the payment against the amount due from Listco to Mr. X.

Would the use of the corporate credit card for payment of Mr. X's personal expenses constitute a transaction for Listco under 14 and 14A?

Answer:

Yes. Listco is liable for settling any payment made through the corporate credit card. Allowing Mr. X to use the card for payment of his personal expenses is a means to provide financial assistance to Mr. X. It falls within the definition of "transaction" under both Rules 14.04(1)(e) and 14A.24(4).

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 3
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14.04(1)(e), 14A.24(4) / GEM Rules 19.04(1)(e), 20.22(4)
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

A wholly owned subsidiary of Listco proposes to obtain a bank loan which will be guaranteed by Listco's substantial shareholder on normal commercial terms. No security over the assets of Listco's group will be provided for the guarantee.

Listco has agreed to indemnify the substantial shareholder for the loan guaranteed by it. Does the provision of the indemnity constitute a connected transaction for Listco?

Answer:

No. The indemnity is a financial assistance provided by Listco in favour of its wholly owned subsidiary, and is not a connected transaction.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 9
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.24(4), 14A.25 / GEM Rules 20.22(4), 20.23
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Subsidiary X is owned as to 90% by Listco and 10% by Mr. A who is a connected person at the subsidiary level.

Listco has agreed to provide a guarantee for the full amount of a loan facility granted by a bank to Subsidiary X. Will it be regarded as provision of financial assistance to Mr. A on the basis that he is not required to provide any guarantee for the loan facility in proportion to his interest in Subsidiary X?

Answer:

No. The guarantee is provided by Listco for the benefit of Subsidiary X. It is not regarded as provision of financial assistance to Mr. A.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 10
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.24(4), 14A.25 / GEM Rules 20.24(4), 20.23
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Listco has issued some convertible bonds (or warrants).

If the bondholder (or warrantholder) is a connected person of Listco, would the issue of new shares by Listco to the connected person upon the exercise of the conversion rights (or subscription rights) according to the terms of the bonds (or warrants) constitute a connected transaction for Listco?

Answer:

No because Listco has no discretion over the conversion (or subscription), however, the issue of the convertible bonds (or warrants) to the connected person would have been a connected transaction.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 5
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.24(6), 14A.25 / GEM Rules 20.22(6), 20.23
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Company I is the non-wholly owned subsidiary of a listed issuer and is owned as to 80% and 20% by the listed issuer and Company X respectively. Company X is a connected person of the listed issuer (a connected person at the level of the issuer's subsidiaries) only by virtue of its substantial shareholding in Company I.

The listed issuer and Company X propose to provide shareholders' loans to Company I in proportion to their respective interest in Company I.

Will the pro rata shareholders' loan arrangement be subject to the connected transaction rules?

Answer:

Since Company I is neither a connected person of the listed issuer nor a company falling under Main Board Rule 14A.27/ GEM Rule 20.25, the provision of the shareholder's loan by the listed issuer to Company I will not be a connected transaction.

The provision of the shareholder's loan by Company X to Company I will constitute a connected transaction for the listed issuer under Main Board Rule 14A.25 / GEM Rule 20.23. Such shareholder's loan will be exempt from reporting, announcement and shareholders' approval requirements under Main Board Rule 14A.90/ GEM Rule 20.88 if it is provided by Company X on normal commercial terms (or better to the listed issuer) and no security is granted over the assets of the listed issuer in respect of the shareholder's loan.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 57
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.25, 14A.89, 14A.90 / GEM Rules 20.23, 20.87, 20.88
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

A listed issuer and its holding company formed a 80:20 joint venture. The joint venture is accounted for as a (non wholly owned) subsidiary of the listed issuer.

The listed issuer and its holding company propose to make a further capital contribution to the joint venture in form of cash, in proportion to their existing shareholding interests in the joint venture.

Will the capital contributions by the listed issuer and its holding company constitute connected transactions?

Answer:

Given that the joint venture is a connected person of the listed issuer pursuant to Main Board Rule 14A.16(1)/ GEM Rule 20.14(1), the capital contribution by the listed issuer to the joint venture constitutes a connected transaction under Main Board Rule 14A.25/ GEM Rule 20.23 subject to announcement, reporting and shareholders' approval requirements.

Since the holding company of the listed issuer is a connected person, its capital contribution to the joint venture (being a subsidiary of the listed issuer) also constitutes a connected transaction under Main Board Rule 14A.25/ GEM Rule 20.23. The capital contribution by the holding company will be exempt from the announcement, reporting and shareholders' approval requirements under Main Board Rule 14A.92(1) / GEM Rule 20.90(1) on the basis that the holding company's capital contribution will be made in proportion to its shareholding interests in the joint venture.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 37
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.25, 14A.92(1) / GEM Rules 20.23, 20.90(1)
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Company A is an associated company of Listco. Company A proposes to issue new shares to Mr. X (the Proposed Issue).

The Proposed Issue would dilute Listco's interest in Company A. Is it a transaction for Listco under Chapter 14? Is it a connected transaction for Listco under Chapter 14A if Mr. X is a connected person of Listco?

Answer:

The Proposed Issue is not a transaction for Listco under both Chapters 14 and 14A as Company A is not a subsidiary of Listco.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 1
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14.04(1)(a), 14A.25 / GEM Rules 19.04(1)(a), 20.23
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Listco has entered into an agreement to acquire a target company from Company A. Listco has also entered into an agreement with Company A for purchase of raw materials at the then market prices from time to time for a 3-year period after the completion of the acquisition.

Company A is an independent third party at the time of entering into the above agreements, but it will become a substantial shareholder of Listco by receiving consideration shares issued by Listco to it upon completion of the acquisition of the target company.

Will the purchase of raw materials from Company A constitute a connected transaction?

Answer:

Yes, as the terms are not fixed at the time Company A is an independent third party, Listco must comply with all applicable announcement, reporting, annual review and shareholder approval requirements in relation to the agreement for the purchase transactions.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 11
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.25 / GEM Rules 20.23
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Company A is owned as to:

10% by Listco;
10% by Mr. X who is a director of Listco; and
80% by certain independent third parties.

Listco providing financial assistance to Company A is a connected transaction for Listco as Company A is a commonly held entity.

If Listco proposes to subscribe new shares in Company A for cash, is it a connected transaction for Listco?

Answer:

Yes. Although Company A is not a connected person of Listco, the proposed subscription is a connected transaction for Listco under Rule 14A.28 because it involves Listco acquiring an interest in Company A, and Mr. X (a controller of Listco) is a substantial shareholder of Company A.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 6
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.26, 14A.28 / GEM Rules 20.24, 20.26
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

A listed issuer proposes to acquire 60% interest in Company G which is wholly owned by Individual P, an independent third party.

After the acquisition, Individual P will continue to hold 40% interest in Company G which will be a 60% owned subsidiary of the listed issuer.

(1) Does the acquisition constitute a connected transaction?
(2) Will the answer to (1) be different if Individual P is to be appointed as a director of the listed issuer after the acquisition?

Answer:

(1) Since Individual P is not a connected person of the listed issuer at the time of the transaction, the acquisition does not fall within the definition of "connected transaction" under Main Board Rule 14A.25/ GEM Rule 20.23.

Since Individual P will not become a controller of the listed issuer as defined in Main Board Rule 14A.28(1)/ GEM Rule 20.26(1) after the acquisition, the acquisition does not fall within the definition of "connected transaction" under Main Board Rule 14A.28/ GEM Rule 20.26.
(2) If Individual P is to be appointed as a director of the listed issuer after the acquisition, he will become a controller under Main Board Rule Rule 14A.28(1)/ GEM Rule 20.26(1) and the acquisition will fall within the definition of "connected transaction" under Main Board Rule 14A.28/ GEM Rule 20.26.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 38
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.28 / GEM Rules 20.26
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

An issuer enters into a framework agreement with a connected person for leases over a period of time (say 3 years).

Will the transactions be treated as continuing connected transactions? If yes, how should the issuer set the annual caps?

Answer:

Yes. The leases under the framework agreement will be treated as continuing connected transactions after HKFRS/IFRS 16 becoming effective.

The issuer acting as lessee will be required to set annual caps on the total value of right-of-use assets relating to the leases to be entered into by the issuer in each year under the framework agreement. It should calculate each of the assets ratio and the consideration ratio using the maximum annual cap as the numerator.

Where the framework agreement will also cover leases with variable lease payments linked to sales that will be recognised as expenses (and not right-of-use assets) in the issuer's accounts (e.g. leases as described in FAQ046A-2018), the issuer must also set annual caps for the variable lease payments to be made by it each year. It should calculate each of the revenue ratio, the assets ratio and the consideration ratio using the maximum annual cap as the numerator.

The framework agreement will be classified under Chapter 14A by reference to the largest percentage ratio.

FAQ Series N/A, FAQ No. 047-2018
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.31, 14A.53 / GEM Rules 20.29, 20.51
Released on 28/09/2018 (Updated on 07/12/2018)

Question:

A listed issuer proposes to enter into a connected transaction which is exempt from the reporting, announcement and independent shareholders' approval requirements under Chapter 14A of the Main Board Rules or Chapter 20 of the GEM Rules.

Is the listed issuer required to enter into a written agreement for the connected transaction?

Answer:

Yes. Pursuant to Main Board Rule 14A.34/ GEM Rule 20.32, a listed issuer and its subsidiaries must enter into written agreements in respect of all connected transactions undertaken.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 32
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.34 / GEM Rules 20.32
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Company I proposes to acquire a property from one of its directors, which constitutes a discloseable and connected transaction. The consideration for the proposed acquisition will be settled by issuing new shares of Company I to the vendor.

No shareholder is required to abstain from voting if Company I were to convene a general meeting for the approval of the proposed acquisition. Company I has obtained the written approval of the transaction from its parent company holding 60% interest in Company I.

Will the Exchange grant a waiver to Company I from convening a general meeting to approve the connected transaction pursuant to Main Board Rule 14A.37 / GEM Rule 20.35? Can Company I issue the consideration shares using the existing general mandate?

Answer:

As Company I is able to meet all the conditions set out in Main Board Rule 14A.37 / GEM Rule 20.35, a waiver from convening a general meeting to approve the proposed acquisition would normally be granted to Company I for the purpose of connected transaction rules.

On the basis that Company I has obtained independent shareholder approval for the proposed acquisition, and the method of settling the consideration was clearly disclosed and not subject to amendment, Company I would be permitted to issue the consideration shares to the vendor pursuant to a general mandate according to Note 1 to Main Board Rule 13.36(2)(b) / the Note to GEM Rule 17.41(2).

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 53
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.37, 13.36 / GEM Rules 20.35, 17.39, 17.41
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Rules 14A.40 and 14A.45 require the independent board committee and the independent financial adviser to give opinions on, among others, whether the connected transaction is in the ordinary and usual course of business of the issuer's group.

Does the above requirement apply to one-off connected transactions such as merger and acquisition or continuing connected transactions that do not form part of the issuer's existing principal business activities?

Answer:

Yes. If the proposed connected transaction is not conducted in the ordinary and usual course of business of the issuer, the independent board committee and independent financial adviser can make a negative statement and explain why the transaction is in the interest of the issuer and its shareholders as a whole.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 11A
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.40, 14A.45 / GEM Rules 20.38, 20.43
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

Should the independent board committee established under Main Board Rules 13.39(6)(a) and 14A.41/ GEM Rules 17.47(6)(a) and 20.39 comprise all independent non-executive directors of the listed issuer?

Answer:

The independent board committee should comprise all independent non-executive directors of the listed issuer, who have no material interest in the relevant transaction.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 42
LR reference: Main Board Rules 13.39(6)(a) and (c), 14A.41 / GEM Rules 17.47(6)(a) and (c),20.39
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Where written shareholder approval has been obtained for a transaction, the amended rule requires an information circular to be despatched within 15 business days after publication of the announcement.

If the stock market is open for only half day due to a typhoon or other reason, is it counted as a business day?

Answer:

The Listing Rules define a "business day" as any day on which the Exchange is open for the business of securities dealing. Accordingly if, for whatever reason, the Exchange is open for the business of dealing in securities for only half day, it is counted as a business day.

FAQ Series 11, FAQ No. 11
LR reference: Main Board Rules 1.01, 14.41, 14A.46, 14A.48 / GEM Rules 1.01, 19.41, 20.44, 20.46
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Listco discloses in its annual report information of a related party transaction according to the accounting standards. If such transaction is a fully exempt connected transaction under Chapter 14A, does Listco need to comply with the disclosure requirement under Paragraph 8(2) of Appendix 16?

Answer:

Yes. Listco should specify that the related party transaction is a connected transaction under Chapter 14A and describe the exemption applicable to the transaction.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 23
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.49, Appendix 16 — Paragraph 8(2) / GEM Rules 20.47, 18.09(2)
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Listco proposes to sell certain products to a connected person on normal commercial terms.

The proposed continuing connected transactions in the current financial year would be fully exempt under the de minimis exemption. Would Listco be required to enter into a framework agreement for these transactions?

Answer:

A framework agreement is not required if the proposed transactions are fully exempt.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 14
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.51, 14A.52 / GEM Rules 20.49, 20.50
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

An issuer proposes to enter into an agreement with its connected person for sale of products where the consideration will be charged based on cost plus 2% mark-up.

(a) Is it acceptable for the issuer to disclose the pricing mechanism (i.e. cost-plus method) without the 2% mark-up percentage?
(b) Our Guidance Letter (GL73-14) on pricing policies for continuing connected transactions states that where an issuer has difficulty in agreeing on specific pricing terms for its continuing connected transaction, it should disclose the method and procedures that it will follow to determine the price and terms of the transaction.

Does the issuer have to disclose the methods and procedures for determining the pricing term of the sale transaction?

Answer:

(a) No. The issuer is obliged to disclose the 2% mark-up percentage because it is part of the terms of the transaction.
(b) No. Given there are specific pricing terms in the agreement, the issuer only has to disclose the pricing term contained in the agreement and explain why the issuer's directors consider that they are normal commercial terms. The announcement/circular must also contain the view of the independent non-executive directors on the terms of the transactions.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 11B
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.51, 14A.52 / GEM Rules 20.49, 20.50
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

An issuer proposes to enter into a framework agreement for a continuing connected transaction.

If the issuer cannot agree with the connected person on specific pricing terms for the transaction, how should it comply with the disclosure requirement on the pricing policy?

Answer:

The issuer should agree with the connected person a framework for determining the pricing and terms of the transaction and disclose this pricing framework in the agreement and its announcement/circular. This pricing framework would likely be the same as that for transactions conducted by the issuer with independent third parties. See paragraph 9 of the Exchange's Guidance Letter (GL73-14) for further guidance.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 11C
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.51, 14A.52 / GEM Rules 20.49, 20.50
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

An issuer proposes to enter into a framework agreement with its parent company for sale of different types of products.

If different pricing policies apply to the different types of products, does the issuer have to disclose the pricing policy for each type of products?

Answer:

The issuer should categorise the products by their pricing policies and disclose separate pricing policies for each product category.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 11D
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.51, 14A.52 / GEM Rules 20.49, 20.50
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

An issuer proposes to supply natural gas to its parent company based on government prescribed price that may change from time to time.

How should the issuer describe the pricing policy for this continuing connected transaction?

Answer:

The issuer should disclose all the relevant details such as the name of the relevant government authority setting the reference price, how and where the price is disclosed or determined and, if applicable, the frequency of update to the price.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 11E
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.51, 14A.52 / GEM Rules 20.49, 20.50
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

Can a listed issuer enter into a written agreement in respect of a continuing connected transaction for a term of 3 years which will be automatically renewed unless both parties agree to terminate the agreement?

Answer:

No. Under Main Board Rule 14A.52/ GEM Rule 20.50, the period for an agreement in respect of a continuing connected transaction must be fixed.

In the circumstance described, the renewal of the agreement upon the expiry of the initial term of 3 years is not at the listed issuer's discretion nor, where applicable, subject to further independent shareholder approval and the agreement would continue unless both the listed issuer and the counterparty agree to terminate the agreement. On this basis, the agreement will not be regarded to have a fixed term as required under Main Board Rule 14A.52/ GEM Rule 20.50.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 49
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.52 / GEM Rules 20.50
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

A listed issuer proposes to enter into an agreement for certain continuing connected transaction for a period of 6 years. Pursuant to Main Board Rule 14A.52/ GEM Rule 20.50, the listed issuer has obtained the opinion of an independent financial adviser explaining why a longer period for the agreement is required and confirming that it is normal business practice for contracts of such type to be of a duration of 6 years.

(1) Is the listed issuer required to disclose the views of the independent financial adviser?
(2) Is the listed issuer required to set annual caps in respect of the continuing connected transaction for the entire period for the agreement and comply with the applicable Listing Rules when it first enters into the agreement?

Answer:

(1) Yes. The information is necessary to enable shareholders to understand whether the agreement is entered into by the listed issuer on normal commercial terms. Such information should be disclosed in its circular to shareholders or, if the transaction is subject to the announcement and reporting requirements only, the announcement published under Main Board Rule 14A.35/ GEM Rule 20.33.
(2) Yes. If the listed issuer cannot set annual caps for the entire term of agreement for any reasons, the listed issuer should seek guidance from the Exchange. The listed issuer would normally be required to set annual caps for a shorter period (say 3 years) and re-comply with the relevant Listing Rule requirements (including setting annual caps, issuing announcements and/or obtaining shareholders' approval) before the end of that (3 year) period.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 50
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.52, 14A.53 / GEM Rules 20.50, 20.51
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

A listed issuer is principally engaged in mining and production of certain mineral resources.

It proposes to enter into an off-take agreement with a connected person to sell part of its future mineral production to that person. Is it acceptable if the off-take agreement covers a period of more than three years?

Answer:

Yes, if the listed issuer can provide an independent financial adviser's opinion to explain why a longer period for the agreement is required and confirm that it is normal business practice for this type of agreements to be of that duration.

GL52-13 Appendix 1, FAQ No. 16
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.52 / GEM Rules 20.50
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated in February 2020)

Question:

Some time ago, Listco and Mr. X (an independent third party at that time) entered into an agreement with fixed terms for leasing a factory building for 10 years.

Listco now proposes to appoint Mr. X as a director, and the lease of the factory building will be a continuing connected transaction for Listco. Would Listco be required to provide an independent financial adviser's opinion on the duration of the lease agreement given that its duration is longer than 3 years?

Answer:

Under Rule 14A.60, Listco should comply with all applicable reporting, annual review and disclosure requirements for the lease agreement.

The requirement for an independent financial adviser's opinion on the duration of the agreement under Rule 14A.52 would not apply.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 15
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.52, 14A.60 / GEM Rules 20.50, 20.58
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

An issuer proposes to enter into a framework agreement for a continuing connected transaction with a director of its subsidiary. The transaction is exempt from the shareholder approval, independent financial advice and circular requirements under Rule 14A.101.

If the agreement is more than three years, does the issuer have to appoint an independent financial adviser under Rule 14A.52 to confirm that it is normal business practice for agreement of this type to be of such duration?

Answer:

Yes. Rule 14A.52 applies to continuing connected transactions with persons connected at the subsidiary level if the transactions are more than three years.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 11F
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.52 / GEM Rules 20.50
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

Main Board Rule 14A.53/ GEM Rule 20.51 requires a listed issuer to set an annual cap for a continuing connected transaction not falling under Main Board Rule 14A.33/ GEM Rule 20.33.

Should the listed issuer set the annual cap with reference to its financial year or calendar year?

Answer:

While this is a matter to be decided by the listed issuer, we encourage it to set the annual cap with reference to its financial year. The reason is that in our experience this would reduce the work and cost of the annual review of the continuing connected transaction required under Main Board Rule 14A.56/ GEM Rule 20.54.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 51
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.53 / GEM Rules 20.51
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

For continuing connected transactions involving purchases or sales of commodity products in an issuer's ordinary and usual course of business, can the issuer propose annual caps of a fixed quantum as monetary caps may not be meaningful due to volatility in the commodity prices?

Answer:

The connected transaction Rules require annual caps for continuing connected transactions be expressed in monetary terms. However, as described in the 2007 Listing Committee Annual Report, the Exchange may consider waiving the monetary cap requirement provided that the issuer discloses alternative caps of a fixed quantum, and a sensitivity analysis to illustrate how changes to the commodity prices will affect the value of the continuing connected transactions. When setting the alternative caps, the issuer would need to estimate the volume of the transactions and not the future commodity prices.

An issuer should consult the Exchange if it wishes to apply for the waiver.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 17
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.53, 14A.68(4) / GEM Rules 20.51, 20.66(4)
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Listco and a connected person have entered into an agreement for certain continuing connected transactions in the next 3 years. Based on the percentage ratios calculated at that time, the transactions were exempt from the independent shareholder approval requirement under the de minimis exemption.

When Listco publishes its next audited accounts, will it be required to calculate the percentage ratios again to determine whether the transactions under the remaining term of the agreement still qualify for the de minimis exemption?

Answer:

No, if Listco has already complied with the applicable requirements for the transactions at the time it entered into the agreement and the aggregate value of the transactions were within the annual cap.

However, if the cap is exceeded or Listco proposes to renew the agreement or negotiate a material change to its terms, Listco would need to calculate the percentage ratios based on its latest published accounts and re-comply with the applicable connected transaction requirements.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 13
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.54, 14A.76 / GEM Rules 20.52, 20.74
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Listco has announced and obtained shareholder approval for entering into a master agreement with its parent company, which covers four different types of continuing connected transactions with separate annual caps.

During the year, Listco expects that the actual amount of two types of continuing connected transactions under the agreement will exceed their annual caps. However, the total annual cap for all transactions under the agreement will remain unchanged.

Is Listco required to re-comply with the announcement and shareholder approval requirements?

Answer:

Yes. Listco must recomply with the announcement and shareholder approval requirements under Rule 14A.54 because the actual amount of the sales of goods and supply of utilities to its parent company will exceed their individual annual caps.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 11G
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.54 / GEM Rules 20.52
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

An issuer has entered into agreements for certain continuing connected transactions which are not fully exempt under Chapter 14A of the Rules.

Does the issuer have to comply with the requirements for annual review by its independent non-executive directors and auditors if no continuing connected transaction has taken place during the year?

Answer:

No.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 11H
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.55, 14A.56 / GEM Rules 20.53, 20.54
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

Rule 14A.60 applies where the issuer has entered into an agreement with fixed terms for a continuing transaction.

Please clarify the meaning of

(a) an agreement with fixed terms; and
(b) a framework agreement.

Answer:

(a) An agreement with fixed terms refers to an agreement which sets out the specific terms for a continuing connected transaction, including the actual or per unit consideration in monetary terms, or a fixed formula for determining the consideration, or specific reference prices (e.g. prices prescribed by government or commodity prices quoted on an exchange) which form the basis of the consideration and where the volume transacted (e.g. number of units) is fixed.
(b) A framework agreement refers to an agreement which sets out the framework within which a series of continuing connected transactions are to be conducted over a period. The actual terms of each transaction would be negotiated on a per transaction bases. The consideration for individual transactions may be subject to pricing guidelines or based on a range of parameters. Some of these agreements provide that the individual transaction will be conducted at market prices or the terms of individual transactions will be negotiated on an arm's length basis.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 12
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.60 / GEM Rules 20.58
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Listco has granted an option to Mr. X to acquire an asset from Listco. Mr. X is an independent third party and the option is exercisable at his discretion. Listco has complied with the notifiable transaction Rules as if the option had been exercised.

If Mr. X subsequently becomes a connected person of Listco, would Listco be required to comply with the connected transaction Rules for the grant of the option as if it had been exercised?

Answer:

No. Listco would need to comply with the announcement requirements when the option is exercised, transferred or expired, or when Mr. X notifies Listco that he will not exercise the option.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 4
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14.74, 14.77, 14A.61 / GEM Rules 19.74, 19.77, 20.59
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on (1/7/2014)

Question:

Where and for how long should documents on display be published online?

How will these documents be removed from the relevant websites after the expiry of the prescribed display period?

Answer:

Issuers should publish documents on display on both the HKEX website (through EPS under the new headline category “Documents on Display”) and the issuer’s website.

For documents that are published to meet transaction disclosure obligations only, issuers are required to publish them for time period prescribed by the Listing Rules (which is the same as what the Listing Rules originally require for physical display of such documents).

For documents that are published to meet ongoing disclosure obligations (e.g. constitutional documents, audited financial information and previous transaction circulars), these should be published on a continuous basis. There is no time limit on the length of time listing documents should remain online. (Note: These documents are already published online on a continuous basis. Issuers will not have to publish them again to meet any transaction disclosure obligations as such obligations will be removed with the changes to the Listing Rules.)

After the expiry of any relevant display period prescribed by the Listing Rules, issuers should remove the documents on display manually from the EPS themselves and can also remove them from their own website. They should not do so before the expiry of the relevant display period. The Exchange will not automatically remove documents of display from EPS after a relevant display period has expired.

FAQ Series N/A, FAQ No. 075-2021
LR reference: Main Board Rules 4.14, 5.01B(1)(b), 5.02B(2)(b), 14.66(10), 14.67A(2)(b)(viii), 14A.70(13), 15A.21(4), 17.02(2), 19.10(5)(e) and (6), 19A.27(4), 19A.50, 19C.10B, 29.09, 29.10, 36.08(3), Appendix 1A paragraph 53, Appendix 1B paragraph 43, Appendix 1C paragraph 54, Appendix 1D paragraph 27, Appendix 1E paragraph 76, Appendix 1F paragraph 66, Appendix 4 paragraph 9(b), Appendix 7H paragraphs 5 and 15, Appendix 24 / GEM Rules 7.18, 8.01B(1)(b), 8.02B(2)(b), 19.66(11), 19.67A(2), 20.68(13), 23.02(2), 24.09(2), (3), (5)(a),(e) and (6), 25.20(4), 25.37, 32.05(3), 35.10, 35.11, Appendix 1A paragraph 52, Appendix 1B paragraph 42, Appendix 1C paragraph 53, Appendix 4 paragraph 9, Appendix 17
Released on 18/6/2021 (Updated on 01/01/2022)

Question:

Under the Listing Rules, when an issuer proposes to sell to a connected person an asset which it has held for 12 months or less, it must disclose the original acquisition cost of the asset in the announcement.

Does this disclosure requirement apply if the disposal target is a company set up by the issuer for 12 months or less?

Answer:

The disclosure requirement is intended to apply to disposals of assets (including companies or businesses) that were acquired by the issuer in the last 12 months.

In this case, the requirement would apply if the disposal is in substance a disposal of the underlying assets that were acquired by the issuer in the last 12 months.

FAQ Series 9, FAQ No. 22
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.68(6) / GEM Rules 20.66(6)
Released on 14/12/2009 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Does Main Board Rule 14A.70(8) / GEM Rule 20.68(8) apply to the acquisition of exploitation right in respect of a coal mine?

Main Board Rule 14A.70(8)/ GEM Rule 20.68(8) applies as long as the primary significance of the asset being acquired or disposed of is its capital value.

Answer:

In the circumstance described, the listed issuer would acquire an exploitation right for natural resources and the primarily significance of such asset would be its capital value. Under Main Board Rules 18.09(3) and 18.10 / GEM Rules 18A.09(3) and 18A.10, a valuation is required for a major or above acquisition of mineral and/or petroleum assets. For the purpose of Main Board Rule 14A.70(8)/ GEM Rule 20.68(8), we will apply the same principle and will only require a valuation if the transaction is classified as major or above.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 55
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.70(8) / GEM Rules 20.68(8)
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Does Main Board Rule 14A.70(8) / GEM Rule 20.68(8) apply to the acquisition of machinery and equipment by listed issuers?

Answer:

Given that the primary significance of machinery and equipment is their capital value, the listed issuer will be required to comply with Main Board Rule 14A.70(8) / GEM Rule 20.68(8) and include in its circular the report prepared by an independent valuer on the valuation of the machinery and equipment to ensure that sufficient information is provided for shareholders to make an informed decision.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 56
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.70(8) / GEM Rules 20.68(8)
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Does Chapter 18 cover all connected transactions involving the acquisition or disposal of Mineral or Petroleum Assets which require shareholder approval?

Answer:

No. Chapter 18 only covers Relevant Notifiable Transaction (as defined under Rule 18.01(3)) involving the acquisition or disposal of assets which are solely or mainly Mineral or Petroleum Assets by a Mineral Company or a listed issuer. Some connected transactions below the major (i.e. 25%) threshold are not covered by Chapter 18 (and therefore not required to be supported by a CPR) but still require shareholder approval under Chapter 14A.

GL52-13 Appendix 1, FAQ No. 15
LR reference: Main Board Rules 18.09, 18.10, Chapter 14A / GEM Rules 18A.09, 18A.10, Chapter 20
Released on 26/5/2010 (Updated in February 2020)

Question:

Do the de minimis exemptions under Chapter 14A of the Main Board Rules / Chapter 20 of the GEM Rules apply to all types of connected transactions that do not exceed the thresholds specified therein?

Answer:

The de minimis exemptions do not apply to (a) connected transactions which are not on normal commercial terms; or (b) connected transactions which involve issue of new securities by a listed issuer to a connected person.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 43
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.76 / GEM Rules 20.74
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Are the assets ratio and the revenue ratio applicable to continuing connected transactions involving:

(a) sales of goods or services by listed issuers; and
(b) purchase of goods or services by listed issuers.

Answer:

For the purposes of classifying a connected transaction, listed issuers are required to compute the percentage ratios (other than the profits ratio) to assess the size of the transaction relative to that of the listed issuer pursuant to Main Board Rules 14A.76 and 14A.78/ GEM Rule 20.74 and 20.76. Listed issuers are therefore required to compute the assets ratio, revenue ratio and consideration ratio for the continuing connected transaction using the annual cap as the numerators.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 46
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.76, 14A.78 / GEM Rules 20.74, 20.76
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014 and 28/09/2018)

Question:

A listed issuer proposes to enter into an agreement with its substantial shareholder in respect of the purchase of raw materials from the substantial shareholder for a period of 6 months. The listed issuer expects that it will continue to carry out such transaction with the substantial shareholder after the 6-month period.

Should the listed issuer compute the percentage ratios for the proposed transaction using the cap estimated based on the value of transaction under the term of the agreement (i.e. the 6-month period)?

Answer:

For a continuing connected transaction that is on normal commercial terms, the de minimis exemption under Main Board Rule 14A.76 / GEM Rule 20.74 applies if each of the percentage ratios (other than the profits ratio) is on an annual basis less than the threshold set out in the rule.

In the circumstances described, the percentage ratios are calculated based on the estimated maximum value of the transaction under the agreement. Nevertheless, the Exchange may consider the calculation of the percentage ratios be anomalous given the parties' intention to continue with the transaction after the relevant 6-month period. The Exchange may require the listed issuer to submit alternative size tests calculated based on the reasonable estimated value of the transaction on an annualised basis to ensure an appropriate comparison of the size of the transaction against that of the listed issuer.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 47
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.76, 14A.78, 14A.80 / GEM Rules 20.74, 20.76, 20.78
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Can an issuer apply the de minimis exemptions under Rule 14A.76 for provision of an indemnity for its director which is not exempt under Rule 14A.91?

Answer:

The issuer may apply the de minimis exemptions only if it can ascertain the maximum exposure that may arise from the director's indemnity arrangement. In this case, it should compute the asset ratio and consideration ratio based on the estimated maximum exposure amount.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 13A
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.76, 14A.91 / GEM Rules 20.74, 20.89
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

How should an issuer compute the size tests for purchase of insurance for its director which is not exempt under Rule 14A.96?

Answer:

The issuer should compute the asset ratio, revenue ratio and consideration ratio based on the maximum annual amount of premium payable under the director's insurance.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 13B
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.76, 14A.96 / GEM Rules 20.74, 20.94
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

Does the de minimis exemption under Rule 14A.87 apply to financial assistance provided by an issuer or its subsidiary which is not a banking company?

Answer:

Rule 14A.87 applies to banking companies only. For an issuer which is a non-banking company, it may apply the de minimis exemption under Rule 14A.76 if the financial assistance is provided to connected person on normal commercial terms and falls within the de minimis threshold.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 16
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.76, 14A.87 / GEM Rules 20.74, 20.85
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Subsidiary A is 80% owned by Listco and 20% owned by a director of Listco.

Does the new threshold of 1% under paragraph (b) of the Rule apply to a transaction between Listco and Subsidiary A?

Answer:

No. Paragraph (b) of the Rule applies to transactions involving connected persons at the subsidiary level only. Subsidiary A does not qualify for the exemption because it is connected by virtue of Listco's director's 20% interest in it.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 9
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.76(1)(b) / GEM Rules 20.74(1)
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

An issuer proposes to obtain a loan from its controlling shareholder on normal commercial terms. Since the loan will be secured by certain assets of the issuer, it is not exempt under Rule 14A.90.

Can the issuer apply the de minimis exemptions to the above transaction? If yes, how should the issuer compute the size tests for classifying the transaction?

Answer:

The issuer may apply the de minimis exemption. It should compute the assets ratio and consideration ratio based on the principal amount of the loan and the revenue ratio based on the annual interests payable to its controlling shareholder. Given the loan is to be secured by the issuer's assets, the issuer should also compute the asset ratio and consideration ratio based on the value of the assets and also the revenue ratio based on any identifiable revenue stream generated from the assets.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 13
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.76(1), 14A.76(2) 14A.90 / GEM Rules 20.74(1), 20.74(2), 20.88
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

A listed issuer proposes to enter into a transaction involving the grant of an option to the listed issuer to acquire an asset from an independent third party. The option is exercisable at the discretion of the listed issuer.

At the time of the grant of the option, the listed issuer does not have any plan or timetable on whether and when it will exercise the option to acquire the target asset.

It proposes to seek shareholders' approval for the exercise of an option, in addition to seeking any shareholders' approval necessary for the entering into of the option.

The actual monetary value of the total consideration payable upon exercise and all other relevant information are known and would be disclosed to the shareholders at the time when the shareholders' approval is obtained. There is no change in any relevant facts at the time of exercise.

(1) Will the listed issuer be required to seek separate shareholders' approval at the time of exercise of the option?
(2) Will the answer to (1) be different if the vendor of the target asset is a connected person of the listed issuer?

Answer:

(1) The listed issuer may, at the time of entering into an option, seek any shareholders' approval necessary for the exercise of the option (in addition to seeking any shareholders' approval necessary for entering into of the option). Such approval, if obtained, will be sufficient for satisfying the shareholders' approval requirement for notifiable transactions pursuant to Main Board Rule 14.76(2)/ GEM Rule 19.76(2).
(2) If the vendor is a connected person of the listed issuer at the time of exercise of the option, the listed issuer will be required to compute the percentage ratios at the time of exercise of the option pursuant to Main Board Rule 14A.79(3) / GEM Rule 20.77(3), irrespective of whether it has sought shareholders' approval for the exercise of option at the time of entering into an option. Depending on the result of the relevant percentage ratios, the listed issuer may be required to comply with the announcement, reporting and shareholders' approval requirements at the time of exercise of the option.

FAQ Series 7, FAQ No. 60
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.79(3), 14.76(2) / GEM Rules 20.77(3), 19.76(2)
Released on 28/11/2008 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

An issuer is allowed to adopt the new alternative tests under Rule 14A.79(4)(b) for classifying transfer or termination or non-exercise of options if an asset valuation is provided by an independent expert using generally acceptable methodologies.

(a) Does an issuer have to seek the Exchange's prior consent to adoption of the alternative tests under Rule 14A.79(4)(b)?
(b) Please clarify what are "generally acceptable methodologies" referred to in Rule 14A.79(4)(b) and who is qualified to provide such asset valuation.

Answer:

(a) Yes.
(b) The valuation should follow the valuation standards that are widely used by professional asset/business valuers in the market and the valuer must be regulated by a recognised professional body. Examples of acceptable valuation standards include International Valuation Standards, Hong Kong Institute of Surveyor Valuation Standards on Trade-related Business Assets and Business Enterprise, The Hong Kong Business Valuation Forum Business Valuation Standards.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 14
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.79(4)(b) / GEM Rules 20.77(4)(b)
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Under Rule 14A.79(4)(b), the Exchange may allow an issuer to adopt the alternative classification test for transfer, termination or non-exercise of option granted by a connected person. Under the alternative classification test, the issuer must compute the asset and consideration ratios based on the higher of:

(i) the difference between the exercise price and the underlying asset value; and
(ii) The consideration or amount payable or receivable by the issuer's group.

Should the issuer use the consideration payable or receivable upon the exercise of the option for (ii) above?

Answer:

No. The issuer should compute the alternative classification test under Rule 14A.79(4)(b)(ii) using consideration or amount payable or receivable (if any) for the transfer, termination or non-exercise of the option.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 14A
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.79(4)(b) / GEM Rules 20.77(4)(b)
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

Is it correct that the Exchange would not aggregate a continuing connected transaction of an income nature with a continuing connected transaction of an expense nature?

Answer:

No. The Exchange may aggregate income and expense items if it considers the transactions are related. See also Listing Decisions LD64-4 and LD14-2011.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 12
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.81 / GEM Rules 20.79
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

In Year 1, Listco signed an agreement for selling certain types of goods to its parent group (the First Transactions) in Years 1 to 3.

In Year 2, Listco proposes to sell a new type of goods to its parent group (the Second Transactions) over Years 2 to 3. Based on the annual caps, these continuing connected transactions would be exempt from the independent shareholder approval requirement under the de minimis exemption. Would the Exchange require Listco to aggregate the Second Transactions with the First Transactions in Years 2 and 3 in the following circumstances?

(a) The First Transactions were exempt from the independent shareholder approval requirement under the de minimis exemption.
(b) The First Transactions were non-exempt continuing connected transactions, and Listco had complied with the connected transaction requirements for these transactions, including the independent shareholder approval requirement.

Answer:

The Exchange considers that the Second Transactions and the First Transactions are related as they are entered into by Listco with the same connected person and are of similar nature.

(a) Listco would need to aggregate the transactions. If the percentage ratio(s) calculated on an aggregate basis exceed the de minimis threshold, the Second Transactions would require independent shareholder approval.
(b) As Listco had already complied with all the connected transactions requirements for the First Transactions, the Exchange would not require Listco to aggregate the Second Transactions with the First Transactions.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 11
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.81, 14A.82, 14A.83 / GEM Rules 20.79, 20.80, 20.81
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Should an issuer consult the Exchange under Main Board Rule 14.23B (GEM Rule 19.23B) if:

(a) the proposed transactions, even when aggregated with the previous transaction(s), will not exceed the percentage ratios to be treated as a notifiable transaction or a connected transaction subject to the announcement, reporting and/or shareholders' approval requirements; or
(b) the issuer has already decided to aggregate the proposed transaction with the previous transaction(s) and comply with the requirements for the relevant classification of the transaction when aggregated?

Answer:

No. The purpose of the Rules is to help issuers to comply before entering into the transaction. Circumstances in (a) and (b) do not involve any risk of non-compliance with the Rules.

FAQ Series 8, FAQ No. 43.
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14.23A, 14A.84, 14A.85, 14A.86 / GEM Rules 19.23A, 20.82, 20.83, 20.84
Released on 28/11/2008 (updated in February 2020)

Question:

A listed issuer proposes to grant a RMB20 million loan (“Proposed Loan”) to its substantial shareholder, Mr. X.

Separately, the issuer has borrowed funds (“Issuer’s Loan”) from Mr. X, which remains outstanding at the time of the Proposed Loan.

Can the issuer offset the Issuer’s Loan against the Proposed Loan when calculating the percentage ratios under Chapters 14 and 14A?

Answer:

No. The Proposed Loan should be classified on a standalone basis.

FAQ Series N/A, FAQ No. 073-2021
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14.07, 14A.87 / GEM Rules 19.07, 20.87
Released on 21/5/2021

Question:

Company A is owned as to:

20% by Listco;
70% by Mr. X who is a director of Listco and
10% by certain independent third parties.
(a) Company A is a "commonly held entity" under Rule 14A.27. It proposes to borrow money from its shareholders on normal commercial terms to finance a new project. Is Listco's financial assistance to Company A exempt under Rule 14A.89 in the following circumstances?
 
(i) Listco provides a loan of HK$20 million while Mr. X and/or the other shareholders provide loans of HK$80 million.
(ii) Listco and Mr. X provide loans of HK$20 million and HK$70 million to Company A respectively.
(b) If Company A proposes to raise funds by issuing new shares, would Listco's subscription of new shares in Company A be a connected transaction? If yes, would the proposed subscription be exempt on the basis that it is made in proportion to Listco's interest in Company A?

Answer:

(a)(i) Yes. The loan made by Listco is in proportion to its interest in Company A.
(a)(ii) No. The loan made by Listco represented about 22% of the total amount of loans, which is not in proportion to its interest in Company A.
(b) The proposed subscription is a connected transaction for Listco as Company A is an associate of Mr. X and therefore a connected person of Listco.

Rule 14A.89 applies to provision of financial assistance only. The proposed subscription would not be exempt simply because it is made by Listco in proportion to its interest in Company A.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 21
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.89 / GEM Rules 20.87
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

Company A is 60% owned by Listco and 40% by Listco's controlling shareholder.

Company A has obtained a bank facility for which Listco has provided a full guarantee in favour of the bank (the "Bank Guarantee"). As Company A is a connected subsidiary of Listco, the provision of the Bank Guarantee constitutes a connected transaction for Listco.

Can Listco apply the exemption under Rule 14A.89 if Listco's controlling shareholder has agreed to a counter-guarantee to Listco for 40% of the outstanding loan balance drawn by Company A under the bank facility?

Answer:

No. The exemption under Rule 14A.89 applies only if the guarantee provided by Listco is in proportion to its interest in Company A and on a several basis.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 17
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.89 / GEM Rules 20.87
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

(1) Does the new exemption for providing directors' indemnity apply if the indemnity relates to the director's liabilities to third parties in connection with negligence, default and breach of duty by directors?
(2) What if the indemnity covers directors' liabilities which are not limited to those arising from his proper discharge of duties?

Answer:

(1) No, because provision of indemnity that relates to such director's liabilities is not allowed under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance.
(2) No, because the indemnity does not meet all the conditions set out in the Rule.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 18
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.91 / GEM Rules 20.89
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

If a director's service contract covers provision of indemnity or purchase of insurance which is not exempt under Rules 14A.91 and 14A.96, can the issuer apply the directors' service contract exemption under Rule 14A.95?

Answer:

No.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 19
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.91, 14A.95, 14A.96 / GEM Rules 20.89, 20.93, 20.94
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Company A is the substantial shareholder of a subsidiary of Listco. It is a connected person of Listco at the subsidiary level.

Listco proposes to place new shares for cash to Company A. Can Listco apply the exemption for transactions with connected persons at the subsidiary level under Rule 14A.101 to exempt the proposed placing from the independent shareholder approval requirement under Chapter 14A?

Answer:

No. Transactions or arrangements involving issuance of new shares by a listed issuer to its connected persons are exempt from the connected transaction Rules only if they fall under the circumstances described in Rule 14A.92. As Company A is a connected person of Listco, the issue of new shares of Listco to it will be subject to the announcement, reporting and shareholder approval requirements under Chapter 14A.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 21B
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.92, 14A.101, Note 1 to 13.36(2)(b) / GEM Rules 20.90, 20.99, Note to 17.41(2)
Released on 29/5/2015

Question:

Mr. A is a director of Listco. Under his director service contract, he may be entitled to receive share awards to be granted under Listco's share award scheme.

Can Listco apply the directors' service contract exemption under Rule 14A.95 if the share awards are granted to Mr. A in form of new shares of Listco?

Answer:

No. Transactions or arrangements involving issuance of new shares by a listed issuer to its connected persons are exempt from the connected transaction Rules only if they fall under the circumstances described in Rule 14A.92. Therefore, the grant of share awards in form of new shares to Mr. A will be subject to the announcement, reporting and shareholder approval requirements under Chapter 14A.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 20
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.95 / GEM Rules 20.93
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Listco proposes to purchase insurance for Mr. A against liabilities to third party that may be incurred in the course of performing his duties as a director of Listco as well as the manager of certain subsidiaries of Listco.

Does the new exemption for purchasing directors' insurance apply to the above insurance arrangement?

Answer:

Yes, provided that the arrangement is in the form permitted under the laws of Hong Kong and Listco's place of incorporation.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 21
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.96 / GEM Rules 20.94
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Listco's businesses include constructing and operating toll roads. It proposes to employ a connected person to develop a computer system for toll fee collection and provide technical support for the system.

Is the proposed transaction eligible for the consumer goods or services exemption?

Answer:

No. The service to be provided to Listco is not of a type ordinarily supplied for private use or consumption, and does not fall within the scope of Rule 14A.97.

FAQ Series 20, FAQ No. 19
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.97 / GEM Rules 20.95
Released on 28/2/2013 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

An issuer is principally engaged in provision of financial services including sale of wealth management products to retail customers.

Does the consumer goods or service exemption under Rule 14A.97 apply to sale of wealth management products by the issuer to its director for his personal investment?

Answer:

The issuer may apply the consumer goods or service exemption if the same products are made available for sale to other independent customers and the transaction with the director is conducted on normal commercial terms.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 21D
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.97 / GEM Rules 20.95
Released on 1/7/2014

Question:

The new Rule allows an issuer to acquire consumer goods or services in connection with its business provided that there is an open market and transparency in the pricing of the goods or services.

How does the issuer determine whether there is a "transparency in the pricing of the goods or services"?

Answer:

It would depend on individual cases. For example, the price labels / price lists are on display at retail stores or the prices are published or publicly quoted.

FAQ Series 10, FAQ No. 11
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.97(2)(b) / GEM Rules 20.95(2)(b)
Released on 20/5/2010 (Updated on 1/7/2014)

Question:

To qualify for the "passive investor" exemption, the passive investor must not have any representatives on the board of directors of the issuer or its subsidiaries.

Can the passive investor have any board seat(s) at an insignificant subsidiary of the issuer?

Answer:

No.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 22
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.99 / GEM Rules 20.97
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

An issuer proposes to provide a guarantee to a third party creditor for the obligations of a connected subsidiary under a government contract awarded by tender.

While the other shareholders of the connected subsidiary will not give a similar guarantee to the creditor, they agree to provide a counter-indemnity to the issuer in proportion to their interest in the subsidiary.

Does the issuer qualify for applying the waiver under Rule 14A.104?

Answer:

No. Rule 14A.104 only applies if the issuer can meet all the three conditions under the Rule. In this case, the issuer fails to meet the condition that the other shareholders of the connected subsidiary must also give similar joint and several guarantee to the creditor.

FAQ Series 28, FAQ No. 23
LR reference: Main Board Rules 14A.104 / GEM Rules 20.102
Released on 21/3/2014

Question:

Do the provisions on financial assistance in the New CO affect the Rules relating to financial assistance for issuers incorporated in Hong Kong?

Answer:

No. The provisions on financial assistance in the New CO relate to the provision of financial assistance by a company or its subsidiaries for the acquisition of its own shares only. The Rules govern the provision of financial assistance by issuers (whether for the acquisition of their own shares or otherwise) and, as such, issuers incorporated in Hong Kong must comply with any applicable financial assistance provisions under both the New CO and the Rules.

FAQ Series 26, FAQ No. 13
LR reference: Main Board Rules Chapters 14 and 14A / GEM Rules Chapters 19 and 20
Released on 21/2/2014