The Securities and Futures Commission is investigating 15 financial firms that sponsored local initial public offerings amid concerns over "substandard" work, head of enforcement Tom Atkinson said yesterday.
Failure to verify critical information, notably customers and their revenue, were among issues of concern, he said.
As a result of various actions of sponsors, billions of Hong Kong dollars in losses were inflicted to local investors, he said.
There are 106 registered firms in Hong Kong responsible for vetting and submitting IPO applications, according to the SFC. They can be held accountable for incorrect information set out in listing prospectuses and they face sanctions, including fines.
UBS Group AG, Standard Chartered, and Citigroup were among firms that have been investigated in relation to new issues. CCB International Holdings is also being questioned for work done on a proposed IPO that was scrapped in 2014.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong-based Geotech Holdings priced its IPO at 42 HK cents, the upper limit of its 34 HK cents to 42 HK cents indicative range. The retail tranche of its public offering was oversubscribed 189.8 times. Geotech raised HK$72.5 million net and trading of its shares will start today.