On 22 June 2011, the SFC published its revised draft of the Guidelines on Disclosure of Inside Information ("Guidelines"), alongside the Government's issuance of the Legislative Council Brief on the Securities and Futures (Amendment) Bill 2011 ("Bill"). The Bill was gazetted on 24 June 2011.
The Guidelines were revised to reflect comments received by the SFC during its 3 month consultation in 2010 as well as the relevant text of the Bill. Further revisions to the Guidelines may be expected once the final form of the Bill has been settled after its passage through the Legislative Council.
Under the Bill, a listed corporation is required to disclose price sensitive information as soon as reasonably practicable after it has become aware of the information. Where the corporation is found to have breached the disclosure requirement, its officer will also be in breach if the corporation's breach is a result of his intentional, reckless or negligent conduct; or if he has not taken all reasonable measures to ensure that proper safeguards existed to prevent the breach. The alleged breaches will be handled by the Market Misconduct Tribunal and civil sanctions will be imposed on listed corporations and their officers for breach of the disclosure requirement.
Remarks - We last discussed the draft proposals under the article "Government proceeds with proposals to codify disclosure of inside information and price-sensitive information" in Issue 17 of this Newsletter.