In a landmark decision testifying to our dedication to good corporate governance, in 2008 the Company became the first real estate company in Hong Kong to publicly support the Stock Exchange's proposal to shorten the period between the end of the fiscal year and reporting of our results.
Hence we announce our interim and final results within one month after the end of the financial period.
Moreover, the Board ensures that a balanced, clear and comprehensible assessment of the Company's performance, position and prospects is presented in annual and interim reports, price-sensitive announcements and other required disclosures.
The Board is responsible for the risk management framework, and to determine the significant risks it is willing to take in achieving the Company's objectives. The Audit Committee is delegated with overseeing the effectiveness of internal control and risk management, while management is responsible for the design, implementation and monitoring of such systems. An Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) working group (comprising unit heads from both business units and support divisions) has been set up to coordinate risk management activities, and to report regularly to the Board.
The processes of identification and assessment of principal risks, as well as implementation of mitigating actions are closely monitored by the ERM working group.
Taking into consideration our principal risks and mitigating actions, the Board believes that the Company has the ability to respond to changes in our business and the external environment.
The Board ensures that the Company maintains a sound and effective internal control system.
Internal control system has been designed to allow us to monitor the Company's overall financial position, to safeguard its assets against major losses and misappropriation, to provide reasonable assurance against material fraud and errors, and to effectively monitor and correct non-compliances.
We have a well-defined policies and procedures governing activities of the Executive Committee, directors, executives and senior staff, such as delegation of authority, approval of annual and mid-year budgets for all capital and revenue items, etc.
We take proactive precautionary measures in handling and dissemination of price-sensitive information. Such information is restricted to a need-to-know basis.
We maintain an Internal Audit Department that is independent of our daily operations and accounting functions. Internal Auditor performs assessment of risks and testing of controls across all business and support units of the Company, according to a risk-based internal audit program, in order to provide a reasonable assurance that adequate controls and governance are in operation. The Internal Auditor reports directly to the Audit Committee.
The Audit Committee holds four meetings with the External Auditor every year, thereby exceeding the requirements of the Code on Corporate Governance Practices.