HONG KONG (Reuters) – The Hong Kong stock exchange suspended from trade on Friday the shares of Chinese developers such as Sunac China, Shimao Group and Kaisa Group, and about 30 other firms for a delay in declaring annual results.
Hong Kong-listed firms usually have three months after the end of the financial year to publish results, though regulators in 2020 allowed trade to continue if companies whose audits were affected by pandemic curbs issued preliminary results without agreement with auditors, or published management accounts.
“The exchange is committed to maintaining a fair, orderly and continuous market,” the exchange operator, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx), said in a statement.
It would monitor developments to ensure suspensions were as short as reasonably possible, it added.
Of the 32 firms suspended for missing the March 31 deadline, 14 had audits affected by pandemic curbs, the exchange said. That compared with 57 suspended in the corresponding period last year, when two were related to COVID-19.
Late on Thursday, Shimao Group said its shares would be suspended from Friday as it was unable to publish unaudited 2021 results in time, because of the outbreak.
The pandemic had led to the lockdown of an office building at the firm’s Shanghai headquarters and quarantine of some staff, with the date for curbs to be lifted still uncertain, Shimao added.
On Monday, Sunac China had said trading in its shares would be halted for missing the HKEX deadline.
On Tuesday, China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd, a unit of embattled developer China Evergrande Group, flagged a suspension for the same reason.
The firm would work with its auditor to publish results in about three months and seek to resume trading as soon as possible, it added.
Other companies facing trading suspensions over the delay included Aoyuan Healthy Life Group, Fantasia Holdings and Kaisa Group.
In Shanghai, more Chinese companies are halting domestic listing plans, as the coronvirus outbreak hampers due diligence and information-gathering.
(Reporting by Donny Kwok and Alun John; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)