March 16, 2020 / 11:22 AM / in 22 days

Hong Kong to relax deadline for companies' annual reports due to virus

A man wears a surgical mask walks through financial central district, following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Hong Kong, China February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/Files

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong listed companies can delay the publication of their annual reports due to the impact of the coronavirus, the city’s stock exchange and markets regulators said in a joint statement on Monday.

Travel bans and other restrictions imposed first across China and since globally in a bid to limit the spread of the virus have left companies and their auditors scrambling to finalise reports ahead of exchange deadlines.

If a company has published at least certain material pieces of financial information by March 31, they do not have to publish their annual report until 60 days after Monday’s statement, the Securities and Futures Commission, and Stock Exchange of Hong Kong said.

Reporting by Alun John; editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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