HK exchange says to consider listing rule changes on voting rights

HONG KONG Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:30am EDT

HONG KONG Aug 29 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's stock exchange said on Friday it will seek market comments on weighted voting rights for companies in the city, which could lead to changes to listing rules.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, which operates the city's stock exchange, unveiled a "concept paper" on new shareholding structures after months of discussions between finance industry executives, officials at the exchange and the city's securities regulator.

The exchange will seek comments through Nov. 30 that could allow for dual-class structures if there is support from market participants for the weighted voting rights. Potential changes to listing rules would be put for public consultation only later.

The discussions followed a decision by Alibaba Group IPO-BABA.N to have its initial public offering in New York after Hong Kong officials rejected the e-commerce company's request to allow a small group of company insiders nominate the majority of its board.

Alibaba's request went against Hong Kong's "one share, one vote" principle, which has been staunchly defended by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). (Reporting by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)