Hong Kong Stock Exchange concludes consultation on ESG disclosure

In May 2019, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), launched a round of consultation on reviewing its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Reporting Guide to improve issuers’ governance and disclosure of ESG activities and metrics. The conclusions to the consultation was published in December 2019. Key changes to the ESG Reporting Guide include introducing mandatory disclosure requirements to include a board statement setting out the board’s consideration of ESG matters, application of Reporting Principles “materiality”, “quantitative” and “consistency” and explanation of reporting boundaries of ESG reports; amending the “Environmental” key performance indicators (KPIs) to require disclosure of relevant targets; upgrading the disclosure obligation of all “Social” KPIs to “comply or explain” etc. 

Get RSS feed of these results

All components of this story

Article
20 January 2020

China: Companies urged to disclose more information on environmental, social and governance risks

Author: Financial Times

“Chinese companies get to grips with tougher ESG disclosures”, 14 January 2020

The ethical investment trend that has swept the developed world is making its mark in China, where authorities are urging companies to say more about their environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks. The effort is in keeping with President Xi Jinping’s call for the development of “green finance”, including the mandatory release of environmental data…

That could be a struggle for companies, some of which have already objected to early moves from Hong Kong’s stock exchange, saying such reports are a waste of time. But analysts say some kind of standardisation is essential. For now, they say, the quality of information is uneven, making it hard for investors with an ESG mandate to make judgments on suitability… Hong Kong made the first move… requiring that, from fiscal years starting in July 2020, all exchange-listed companies produce a statement setting out the board’s consideration of ESG risks, as well as how it determines what ESG matters are material to the business. That materiality assessment is significant, according to Morgan Stanley analysts, because it is likely to force executives to fully integrate such disclosures into their business strategy “instead of merely a box-ticking requirement”.

The stock exchanges of Shanghai and Shenzhen are expected to follow Hong Kong’s lead this year, and require all issuers to increase ESG disclosures. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has announced such a plan, but has yet to provide details for the more than 3,000 companies affected…

… In 2013, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange recommended ESG reporting and three years later, the CSRC required heavily-polluting companies to disclose certain information on their environmental impacts. But some issuers appear to have provided that information through gritted teeth. In its response to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s ESG proposal, conglomerate CK Hutchison, which has assets spanning retail, ports, oil and telecoms, said many of its individual shareholders “view such reporting as wasting company resources”. One company that chose to remain anonymous said it worried that its board would be “overloaded” by the requirement. Another said that consideration of ESG matters was “common sense” for a management team, and that mandatory disclosure would not “motivate companies to improve”.

Even under the gentler rules, reporting has been patchy. When Morgan Stanley analysts dug into disclosures from Guangdong Electric Power Development, a coal-dependent power provider, they found that the information offered was incomplete and inconsistent. In a November report, the analysts noted that the company “used to disclose some of the key environmental data, but then changed to qualitative description of the implementation and targets from 2017”. Guangdong Electric could not be reached for comment.

Issuers of bonds, too, are under some pressure to tighten standards. China has embraced the trend for “green bonds” — whose proceeds are supposed to be used to fund environmentally-friendly projects…

But some foreign investors remain wary. In the third quarter of 2019, only 40 per cent of green bonds from Chinese issuers were in line with international norms on the use of proceeds, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative, a London-based non-profit organisation…

James Donald, a managing director and head of emerging markets at Lazard, said it might be tough for some companies to make convincing ESG arguments to investors, given that the nation relies so heavily on coal. Still, he added, the government “appears to be aware that ESG has suddenly become an enormously important issue”.

[Also referred to SynTao Green Finance, China Asset Management and BNP Paribas Asset Management]

Read the full post here

Article
+ 简体中文 - Hide

Author: 香港联合交易所有限公司

“联交所刊发《环境、社会及管治报告指引谘询总结》及 发行人披露环境、社会及管治常规情况的审阅报告”, 2019年12月18日

香港交易及结算所有限公司(香港交易所)全资附属公司香港联合交易所有限公司(联交所)…刊发有关检讨《环境、社会及管治报告指引》(《ESG指引》)及相关《上市规则》条文的谘询总结(ESG谘询总结)… 以及其对上市发行人环境、社会及管治披露情况的最新审阅结果(ESG披露审阅)…

联交所共接获153份来自各界人士的回应意见,意见普遍反映市场极力支持各项有助提升ESG汇报框架的谘询建议。联交所将会按所接获的意见作适当修订后,全盘落实谘询文件提出的建议。相关修订于2020年7月1日或之后开始的财政年度生效。

《ESG指引》及相关《上市规则》条文的主要修订包括:

  • 在《ESG指引》加设强制披露要求,包括:
    - 载有董事会对ESG事宜的考量的董事会声明;
    - 有关汇报原则「重要性」、「量化」以及「一致性」的应用;及
    - 解释ESG报告的汇报范围;
  • 规定披露已经及可能会对发行人产生影响的重大气候相关事宜;
  • 修订「环境」的关键绩效指标,并须披露相关目标;
  • 将所有「社会」关键绩效指标的披露责任提升至「不遵守就解释」;及
  • 将刊发ESG报告的期限缩短至财政年度结束后五个月内…

ESG披露审阅的主要审阅结果及建议包括:

  • … 大部分样本发行人的ESG报告对董事会参与的程度着墨甚少甚或没有说明。 在评估、处理ESG相关风险方面,董事会务必扮演积极主动角色。
  • 发行人须「不遵守就解释」的条文,仅3%以「解释」的方式处理。选择「遵守」条文的比例如此之高,也许表明发行人并未妥善考虑对自身而言什么是重要的条文,又或是发行人认为以「解释」的方式处理不太可取。发行人须留意,若个别「不遵守就解释」条文对其自身而言并不重要,如实说明其实亦无不可,「解释」并非退而求其次的选择…

Read the full post here

Article
+ 简体中文 - Hide

Author: 香港联合交易所有限公司

“联交所刊发《环境、社会及管治报告指引谘询总结》及 发行人披露环境、社会及管治常规情况的审阅报告”, 2019年12月18日

香港交易及结算所有限公司(香港交易所)全资附属公司香港联合交易所有限公司(联交所)…刊发有关检讨《环境、社会及管治报告指引》(《ESG指引》)及相关《上市规则》条文的谘询总结(ESG谘询总结)… 以及其对上市发行人环境、社会及管治披露情况的最新审阅结果(ESG披露审阅)…

联交所共接获153份来自各界人士的回应意见,意见普遍反映市场极力支持各项有助提升ESG汇报框架的谘询建议。联交所将会按所接获的意见作适当修订后,全盘落实谘询文件提出的建议。相关修订于2020年7月1日或之后开始的财政年度生效。

《ESG指引》及相关《上市规则》条文的主要修订包括:

  • 在《ESG指引》加设强制披露要求,包括:
    - 载有董事会对ESG事宜的考量的董事会声明;
    - 有关汇报原则「重要性」、「量化」以及「一致性」的应用;及
    - 解释ESG报告的汇报范围;
  • 规定披露已经及可能会对发行人产生影响的重大气候相关事宜;
  • 修订「环境」的关键绩效指标,并须披露相关目标;
  • 将所有「社会」关键绩效指标的披露责任提升至「不遵守就解释」;及
  • 将刊发ESG报告的期限缩短至财政年度结束后五个月内…

ESG披露审阅的主要审阅结果及建议包括:

  • … 大部分样本发行人的ESG报告对董事会参与的程度着墨甚少甚或没有说明。 在评估、处理ESG相关风险方面,董事会务必扮演积极主动角色。
  • 发行人须「不遵守就解释」的条文,仅3%以「解释」的方式处理。选择「遵守」条文的比例如此之高,也许表明发行人并未妥善考虑对自身而言什么是重要的条文,又或是发行人认为以「解释」的方式处理不太可取。发行人须留意,若个别「不遵守就解释」条文对其自身而言并不重要,如实说明其实亦无不可,「解释」并非退而求其次的选择…

Read the full post here

Article
+ 繁體中文 - Hide

Author: 香港联合交易所有限公司

“联交所刊发《环境、社会及管治报告指引谘询总结》及 发行人披露环境、社会及管治常规情况的审阅报告”, 2019年12月18日

香港交易及结算所有限公司(香港交易所)全资附属公司香港联合交易所有限公司(联交所)…刊发有关检讨《环境、社会及管治报告指引》(《ESG指引》)及相关《上市规则》条文的谘询总结(ESG谘询总结)… 以及其对上市发行人环境、社会及管治披露情况的最新审阅结果(ESG披露审阅)…

联交所共接获153份来自各界人士的回应意见,意见普遍反映市场极力支持各项有助提升ESG汇报框架的谘询建议。联交所将会按所接获的意见作适当修订后,全盘落实谘询文件提出的建议。相关修订于2020年7月1日或之后开始的财政年度生效。

《ESG指引》及相关《上市规则》条文的主要修订包括:

  • 在《ESG指引》加设强制披露要求,包括:
    - 载有董事会对ESG事宜的考量的董事会声明;
    - 有关汇报原则「重要性」、「量化」以及「一致性」的应用;及
    - 解释ESG报告的汇报范围;
  • 规定披露已经及可能会对发行人产生影响的重大气候相关事宜;
  • 修订「环境」的关键绩效指标,并须披露相关目标;
  • 将所有「社会」关键绩效指标的披露责任提升至「不遵守就解释」;及
  • 将刊发ESG报告的期限缩短至财政年度结束后五个月内…

ESG披露审阅的主要审阅结果及建议包括:

  • … 大部分样本发行人的ESG报告对董事会参与的程度着墨甚少甚或没有说明。 在评估、处理ESG相关风险方面,董事会务必扮演积极主动角色。
  • 发行人须「不遵守就解释」的条文,仅3%以「解释」的方式处理。选择「遵守」条文的比例如此之高,也许表明发行人并未妥善考虑对自身而言什么是重要的条文,又或是发行人认为以「解释」的方式处理不太可取。发行人须留意,若个别「不遵守就解释」条文对其自身而言并不重要,如实说明其实亦无不可,「解释」并非退而求其次的选择…

Read the full post here

Article
+ 繁體中文 - Hide

Author: 香港联合交易所有限公司

“联交所刊发《环境、社会及管治报告指引谘询总结》及 发行人披露环境、社会及管治常规情况的审阅报告”, 2019年12月18日

香港交易及结算所有限公司(香港交易所)全资附属公司香港联合交易所有限公司(联交所)…刊发有关检讨《环境、社会及管治报告指引》(《ESG指引》)及相关《上市规则》条文的谘询总结(ESG谘询总结)… 以及其对上市发行人环境、社会及管治披露情况的最新审阅结果(ESG披露审阅)…

联交所共接获153份来自各界人士的回应意见,意见普遍反映市场极力支持各项有助提升ESG汇报框架的谘询建议。联交所将会按所接获的意见作适当修订后,全盘落实谘询文件提出的建议。相关修订于2020年7月1日或之后开始的财政年度生效。

《ESG指引》及相关《上市规则》条文的主要修订包括:

  • 在《ESG指引》加设强制披露要求,包括:
    - 载有董事会对ESG事宜的考量的董事会声明;
    - 有关汇报原则「重要性」、「量化」以及「一致性」的应用;及
    - 解释ESG报告的汇报范围;
  • 规定披露已经及可能会对发行人产生影响的重大气候相关事宜;
  • 修订「环境」的关键绩效指标,并须披露相关目标;
  • 将所有「社会」关键绩效指标的披露责任提升至「不遵守就解释」;及
  • 将刊发ESG报告的期限缩短至财政年度结束后五个月内…

ESG披露审阅的主要审阅结果及建议包括:

  • … 大部分样本发行人的ESG报告对董事会参与的程度着墨甚少甚或没有说明。 在评估、处理ESG相关风险方面,董事会务必扮演积极主动角色。
  • 发行人须「不遵守就解释」的条文,仅3%以「解释」的方式处理。选择「遵守」条文的比例如此之高,也许表明发行人并未妥善考虑对自身而言什么是重要的条文,又或是发行人认为以「解释」的方式处理不太可取。发行人须留意,若个别「不遵守就解释」条文对其自身而言并不重要,如实说明其实亦无不可,「解释」并非退而求其次的选择…

Read the full post here

Article
20 December 2019

Hong Kong Stock Exchange publishes conclusions on its ESG consultation

Author: Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited

“EXCHANGE PUBLISHES ESG GUIDE CONSULTATION CONCLUSIONS AND ITS ESG DISCLOSURE REVIEW FINDINGS”, 18 December 2019

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX)… published conclusions to its consultation on the ‘Review of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Reporting Guide (ESG Guide) and Related Listing Rules’ (ESG Consultation Conclusions)… and the findings of its latest review of listed issuers’ ESG disclosures (ESG Disclosure Review)…

The Exchange received 153 responses from a broad range of respondents.  The feedback indicated strong support for the consultation proposals to enhance the ESG reporting framework.  The Exchange will implement the consultation proposals, with modifications, reflecting comments received.  The changes will be effective for financial years commencing on or after 1 July 2020.

Key changes to the ESG Guide and related Listing Rules include:

  • Introducing mandatory disclosure requirements to include:
    • a board statement setting out the board’s consideration of ESG matters;
    • application of Reporting Principles “materiality”, “quantitative” and “consistency”; and
    • explanation of reporting boundaries of ESG reports;
  • Requiring disclosure of significant climate-related issues which have impacted and may impact the issuer;
  • Amending the “Environmental” key performance indicators (KPIs) to require disclosure of relevant targets;
  • Upgrading the disclosure obligation of all “Social” KPIs to “comply or explain”; and
  • Shortening the deadline for publication of ESG reports to within five months after the financial year-end.

Key findings and recommendations of the ESG Disclosure Review include:

  • ... ESG reports from a majority of Sample Issuers contained little or no description of board involvement.It is important for boards to be meaningfully involved in assessing and addressing ESG-related risks.
  • When an issuer is required to “comply or explain”, only 3 per cent of such provisions were “explained”. The high percentage of reports adopting the “comply” option may suggest that issuers have not properly determined what is material to them, or that the “explain” option is believed to be a less-preferable option. Issuers are reminded that if a “comply or explain” provision is immaterial to them, then an explanation to that effect may well be appropriate. “Explanation” is not a less preferred or secondary option... 

Read the full post here

Article
+ 繁體中文 - Hide

Author: 香港交易及结算所有限公司

“联交所咨询市场对提升ESG《上市规则》条文的意见及刊发有关ESG及性别多元化的指引材料”, 2019年5月17日

香港交易及结算所有限公司(香港交易所)全资附属公司香港联合交易所有限公司(联交所)…宣布刊发:有关检讨《环境、社会及管治报告指引》及相关《上市规则》条文的咨询文件(ESG咨询);ESG指引材料(包括网上培训及常问问题系列17及18);及修订指引信HKEX-GL86-16,载列了我们预期新上市申请人在其上市文件中披露有关(i) ESG事宜及(ii) 性别多元化事宜的资料。

联交所最新的ESG咨询的重点是支持和提升发行人在ESG方面的管治和披露…

主要建议:

在《环境、社会及管治报告指引》中加入强制披露规定,以涵盖:

陈述董事会考虑过有关ESG事宜的董事会声明;

及于ESG报告中应用的相关汇报原则及范围;

要求发行人披露已经及可能会对其产生影响的重大气候相关事宜;

修订「环境」关键绩效指标,并要求披露相关目标;将「社会」关键绩效指标的披露责任提升为「不遵守就解释」;

及缩短刊发ESG报告的时限,与年报刊发时间一致(即财政年结日起计四个月内(主板发行人)或财政年结日起计三个月内(GEM发行人))。

对ESG咨询提交回应意见的截止日期为2019年7月19日…

就新申请人于上市文件作出披露的事项,联交所修改了指引信HKEX-GL86-16,当中要求新申请人披露董事会成员多元化政策(包括性别),以及要求董事会只有单一性别的新申请人解释如何达到董事会成员性别多元化。修订后的指引信亦列出我们预期公司就ESG事宜作出的披露,包括新申请人的环境政策的重要资料,以及其辨认、评估及管理重大ESG风险的程序…

Read the full post here

Article
+ 简体中文 - Hide

Author: 香港交易及结算所有限公司

“联交所咨询市场对提升ESG《上市规则》条文的意见及刊发有关ESG及性别多元化的指引材料”, 2019年5月17日

香港交易及结算所有限公司(香港交易所)全资附属公司香港联合交易所有限公司(联交所)…宣布刊发:有关检讨《环境、社会及管治报告指引》及相关《上市规则》条文的咨询文件(ESG咨询);ESG指引材料(包括网上培训及常问问题系列17及18);及修订指引信HKEX-GL86-16,载列了我们预期新上市申请人在其上市文件中披露有关(i) ESG事宜及(ii) 性别多元化事宜的资料。

联交所最新的ESG咨询的重点是支持和提升发行人在ESG方面的管治和披露…

主要建议:

在《环境、社会及管治报告指引》中加入强制披露规定,以涵盖:

陈述董事会考虑过有关ESG事宜的董事会声明;

及于ESG报告中应用的相关汇报原则及范围;

要求发行人披露已经及可能会对其产生影响的重大气候相关事宜;

修订「环境」关键绩效指标,并要求披露相关目标;将「社会」关键绩效指标的披露责任提升为「不遵守就解释」;

及缩短刊发ESG报告的时限,与年报刊发时间一致(即财政年结日起计四个月内(主板发行人)或财政年结日起计三个月内(GEM发行人))。

对ESG咨询提交回应意见的截止日期为2019年7月19日…

就新申请人于上市文件作出披露的事项,联交所修改了指引信HKEX-GL86-16,当中要求新申请人披露董事会成员多元化政策(包括性别),以及要求董事会只有单一性别的新申请人解释如何达到董事会成员性别多元化。修订后的指引信亦列出我们预期公司就ESG事宜作出的披露,包括新申请人的环境政策的重要资料,以及其辨认、评估及管理重大ESG风险的程序…

Read the full post here

Article
20 May 2019

Hong Kong Stock Exchange launches consultation on review of ESG reporting

Author: Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited

“Exchange seeks views on strengthening ESG rules and publishes guidance materials on ESG and gender diversity”, 17 May 2019

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Exchange) … announces the publication of: Consultation Paper “Review of the Environmental, Social and Governance Reporting Guide and related Listing Rules” (ESG Consultation), ESG guidance materials… and Updated Guidance Letter HKEX-GL86-16… setting out our expected disclosure on ESG matters and… requiring disclosures on gender diversity in the listing documents of new applicants.

The key focus of the Exchange’s latest ESG Consultation is to support and improve issuers’ governance and disclosure of ESG activities and metrics. 

Key proposals:

-          Introducing mandatory disclosure requirements in the ESG Reporting Guide to include:

  • a board statement setting out the board’s consideration of ESG issues; and
  • applications of relevant reporting principles and boundaries in the ESG report;

-          Requiring disclosure of significant climate-related issues which have impacted and may impact the issuer;

-          Amending the “Environmental” key performance indicators (KPIs) to require disclosure of relevant targets;

-          Upgrading the disclosure obligation of “Social” KPIs to “comply or explain”; and

-          Shortening the deadline for publication of ESG reports to align with the publication timeframe of the annual report (ie within four months (Main Board issuers) or three months (GEM issuers) after the year-end date).

The deadline for responding to the ESG Consultation is 19 July 2019…

… the Exchange has revised Guidance Letter HKEX-GL86-16 to require additional disclosure on policy of board diversity (including gender) and how gender diversity of the board can be achieved in the case of a single gender board.  The revised Guidance Letter also sets out… [the Exchange’s] expected disclosure on ESG matters, including material information on applicants’ environmental policies, and details of the process used to identify, evaluate and manage significant ESG risks...

Read the full post here