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Standing Committee on Company Law Reform publishes annual report

     The Standing Committee on Company Law Reform (SCCLR) today (February 15 ) published its 2016-17 annual report.

     During the reporting period, the SCCLR discussed issues relating to the legislative proposals to enhance the transparency of beneficial ownership of companies in Hong Kong, to improve the clarity and operation of the new Companies Ordinance (Chapter 622) and to introduce a statutory corporate rescue procedure.

     "The SCCLR has all along been our important partner in company law reform. We are thankful for its efforts and contribution throughout the years," a government spokesman said. 

     Taking into account the advice of the SCCLR, the Government introduced the Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017 into the Legislative Council on  June 28, 2017 to require companies incorporated in Hong Kong, unless exempted, to maintain beneficial ownership information by way of keeping significant controllers registers, in accordance with the recommendation of the international Financial Action Task Force. The Bill was subsequently passed on  January 24, 2018 and will come into effect on March 1, 2018. 

     At the same time, the Government is also taking forward two legislative exercises to amend the new Companies Ordinance with a view to improving its clarity and operation and to introduce a statutory corporate rescue procedure to improve the corporate insolvency law respectively. In the process, the SCCLR has provided invaluable advice to the Government.

     The SCCLR was set up in 1984. It advises the Financial Secretary on amendments to the Companies Ordinance and the Companies (Winding Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance, as well as amendments to the Securities and Futures Ordinance on matters relating to corporate governance and shareholders' protection, as and when necessary.

     Members of the SCCLR include practitioners from relevant professions including the legal, accountancy and company secretarial fields, academics, individuals from the business community, representatives from relevant government departments and financial regulators.

     The 2016-17 annual report of the SCCLR is available at the websites of the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (www.fstb.gov.hk/fsb) and the Companies Registry (www.cr.gov.hk).