HKEX to Enhance ESG Standards and Climate Disclosures in 2022

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HKEX to Enhance ESG Standards and Climate Disclosures in 2022

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Hong Kong Exchange (HKEX) [0388:HK] released the Listing Committee Report for 2021 on March 14, in which the HKEX highlighted its achievements on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues and drew up plans to review ESG standards, as reported by Sina Finance on the same day. The committee revealed that green, social, and sustainable bond listings on the HKEX have amounted to 95 and raised more than USD280bn. In 2020, there were only 18 listings, raising USD67bn in total. Additionally, the committee committed to reviewing proposals to enhance ESG standards and climate disclosures, optimize the IPO price discovery process, and conclude their share scheme consultation this year.

The HKEX published a Guidance on Climate Disclosure in November 2021 to help companies that seek IPO on the HKEX assess their response to climate change-related risks. Later, in December 2021, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) also stated that financial institutions and listed companies will have to disclose the financial impact of climate change on their businesses by 2025. The mandated climate disclosures need to be in alignment with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The move made HKEX the third bourse in Asia to propose mandatory TCFD-aligned climate risk disclosure, after Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) and Singapore Exchange (SGX) [SGX:SP] successively put forward such initiatives in September and December.