March 14, 2018 / 8:43 AM / 9 days ago

HK regulator issues notice for action against 8 IPO sponsors - official

HONG KONG, March 14 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s securities regulator has issued notices for possible disciplinary actions against eight firms for alleged misconduct in their roles as sponsors for initial public offerings (IPOs) in the Asian financial hub, a senior official said on Wednesday.

In October 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said it was probing “substandard work” by 15 firms during their IPO sponsorship, as part of its efforts to stamp out corporate fraud.

“We were investigating 15 sponsor firms. We’ve issued 8 proceedings...and now we’re looking at the sponsor principals and we’re moving against those so there will be another round coming up,” said Thomas Atkinson, the regulator’s enforcement head, at a conference.

“They’re all starting to come to a head now.”

The sloppy work from the 15 unnamed sponsors, as investment banks and securities firms that underwrite listings are called, caused billions of dollars in investment losses, Atkinson had said last year. (Reporting by Jennifer Hughes; Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman )

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