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WFE Focus April 2011

Hong Kong Exchanges revises corporate governance code and listing rules

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong published its “Consultation Conclusions on Review of the Corporate Governance Code and Associated Listing Rules”. The amendments will keep the corporate governance code in line with international best practices. Further to the regulatory approval, amendments will be effective on 1 January 2012; code and certain rules will be effective on 1 April 2012; the new rule requiring the issuer to appoint independent non-executive directors representing at least one-third of the board must be complied with by 31 December 2012; and the new rule requiring company secretary training will be staggered according to the date of appointment of an individual as company secretary of an issuer. A summary of the rules and code adopted can be viewed on the HKEx website.

South Africa’s foreign companies to be included in Johannesburg Stock Exchange indices

An October announcement by the South African National Treasury that foreign-domiciled listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange will now be classified as domestic assets for exchange control purposes may improve the country’s position as a financial gateway into Africa and allow local asset managers to invest more freely in these companies. In the past, the JSE could not include foreign companies in the exchange’s indices, as local investors weren’t able to buy the shares without restriction. This in turn limited the amount of local activity in the foreign companies and hence detracted from the JSE as an investment destination. The change in policy direction enables the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to more aggressively pursue a wider range of investment possibilities. The South African National Treasury also announced that it will simplify procedures and reduce the cost of cross-border money remittances, particularly to neighboring countries and the rest of Africa.

TAIFEX receives CFTC no-action letters for index futures

The Taiwan Futures Exchange (TAIFEX) received a No-Action Letter from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) dated 24 October 2011, permitting the offer and sale in the US of a TAIFEX futures contract based on the GreTai Securities Market Capitalized Weighted Stock Index. TAIFEX has also been granted no-action letters for its AIEX Futures, Mini-TAIEX Futures, Electronic Sector Index Futures, Finance Sector IndexFutures and Non-Finance Non-Electronics Sub-Index Futures products.

Warsaw Stock Exchange amends provisions of best practice for listed companies

On 19 October 2011, the Supervisory Board of the Warsaw Stock Exchange amended the provisions of the “Best Practice for WSE Listed Companies”. The amendment adds to the list of information which should be published on the website of a listed company information about the participation of women and men respectively in the Management Board and in the Supervisory Board in the last two years.

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