“The (Hong Kong) government and the regulators just haven’t kept pace with the responsibility they are charged with,” Paul Gillis, co-director of the IMBA program at Peking University, told Quartz...
Hong Kong’s resistance to tough regulation relates in part to the city’s dependence on a handful of wealthy tycoons, critics say. “It’s the nature of Hong Kong society, which is basically an oligarchy or a plutocracy,” Gillis said. “There are many powerful institutions in Hong Kong that will resist any change they find adverse to them.”...
Without changes, the long-term damage could be severe. “When we had a rash of [Chinese company] frauds in the US, the US-listed China stocks got beat up,” Gillis said. A slew of mainland Chinese stocks that had listed in the US were delisted, suspended or withdrawn in late 2010 and early 2011, after being hit by short sellers and fraud litigation.
“The question is whether the short sellers turn their attention to Hong Kong and find the same problems as they do on the mainland,” Gillis said. “Then, yes, the Hong Kong exchange could lose prestige.”
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