Following the decision of the Hong Stock Exchange to approve
Jersey as a jurisdiction of incorporation for admission to the
Exchange, the first Chinese business held through a Jersey company
has been listed successfully.
West China Cement Limited (WCC), a leading cement producer in
the Shaanxi province of China and recognised in 2009 by Forbes
magazine as one of 'Asia's 200 Best Companies with a Market
Capitalization Under US$1billion', completed its global
offering and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) on 23
The global offering, which comprised of a Hong Kong public
offering and an international placing, was substantially
oversubscribed and raised approximately HK$1,280 million. WCC
de-listed from AIM in conjunction with its admission to the HKEx.
Carey Olsen advised WCC on the Jersey legal aspects of the
transaction, which went smoothly from a Jersey perspective, with no
material Jersey issues.
While Jersey and Hong Kong company law are largely based on
English company law, where there are differences between the two,
the HKEx will expect any issues to be bridged by way of amendments
to a Jersey company's articles of association (its key
constitutional document). To all intents and purposes, the
protections and control afforded to shareholders and the
company's internal management will therefore largely reflect
the norm under Hong Kong law and will be in line with market
The WCC listing is a landmark transaction for Jersey. Typically,
Jersey companies are mainly used for listing on the London market
(both Main Market and AIM), as has been seen by the recent
successful listing on AIM of Asia Ceramics Holdings plc. However,
listings of Jersey companies have also been made on Euronext,
NASDAQ, the Australian Stock Exchange and other exchanges both in
Europe and North America. The ability to list in Hong Kong,
together with the advantages of using Jersey companies to list on
the London market (Takeover Code application, CREST settlement, no
stamp duty, tax neutrality and a flexible yet recognised company
law regime), now opens the possibility of dual listings on those
markets on a basis that is not open to many other competitor
The WCC listing follows on from an increase in activity in the
Initial Public Offering (IPO) market, which has directly affected
business levels in Jersey. Carey Olsen, along with other law firms,
is experiencing an increase in transactions in this sector across a
variety of markets. The pick-up in global equity markets has led to
increased appetite, from a low base, for IPOs from which Jersey has
benefitted. Jersey therefore continues to be a popular jurisdiction
in which to incorporate listing vehicles - a trend which it is
hoped will continue in the Greater China market going forward.
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