70pc listed companies delayed audit reports, advisory firm says

Business | 8 Oct 2020 4:46 pm

More companies have been suspended from trading this year due to auditing problems, while 70 percent failed to submit the auditor's report in time amid the coronavirus pandemic, an advisory firm says.

Barry Tong, the joint Asia Pacific head of transaction advisory services at Grant Thornton, said the pandemic impacts on operations and liquidity of companies would be reflected in their results next year, and there could be more suspensions.

Meanwhile, short-sellers are still targeting mid- to large-cap stocks with billions of market capitalization, but there have been fewer allegations against Hong Kong-listed companies this year, as short-sellers turned to US-listed Chinese companies.

This was mainly because institutions could not do on-site investigations amid the pandemic, Tong said.

Trading in 79 stocks remained suspended long-term as of the end September, with 62 listed on the main board. Among the suspended main board stocks, 14 are facing severe financial difficulties while the other 49 need to take remedial actions, data from the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong show.




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