HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's Financial Secretary has asked regulators to review plans for a new trading board for companies with dual-class share structures - a sign that the proposal may be dropped in favor of allowing them to be listed on the existing exchange.
Secretary Paul Chan has asked Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to take another look at proposed safeguards to protect investor interests.
"As to if these companies are allowed to be listed on the stock exchange, whether it would be a new board or to be put in the existing board under a separate chapter, this is a secondary consideration, this should not be too difficult," he said, according to a government transcript of remarks made late on Monday.
Hong Kong has been keen to attract so-called 'new economy' firms with dual class structures that might typically choose a U.S listing due to less stringent rules on profitability and share structures, as Alibaba Group Holding and Baidu Inc have done in the past.
In June, bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing started a consultation on the launch of a third board that would target companies in sectors such as the internet and biotech.
Public consultation ended in August, with financial industry professionals still divided over the matter.
(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Edwina Gibbs)