Corporate Governance Practices
China Power strives to raise the standard of corporate governance and regards corporate governance as part of value creation. This reflects the commitment of the Board and senior management on abiding by the standards of corporate governance, as well as our willingness to maintain transparency and accountability to maximize the value of our shareholders as a whole.
In compliance with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange's implementation of the revised Listing Rules Appendix 14 of the Corporate Governance Code and Corporate Governance Report (the "CG Code") and the associated Listing Rules in early 2012, the Board has reviewed the revised CG Code and the revised Listing Rules and their impact to the Company, and has taken measures to comply with the new requirements.
Save for the deviations from the CG Code provisions of A.2.1 and A.4.2, the Company has strictly complied with the provisions of the Code on Corporate Governance Practices (effective until 31 March 2012) and the CG Code (effective from 1 April 2012) as set out in Appendix 14 to the Listing Rules for the year ended 31 December 2012.
The Board comprises Chairman of the Board and chief executive officer, Ms. Li Xiaolin, executive Director and the president, Mr. Gu Dake, two non-executive Directors, namely Mr. Guan Qihong and Mr. Wang Zichao, and three independent non-executive Directors, namely Mr. Kwong Che Keung, Gordon, Mr. Li Fang and Mr. Tsui Yiu Wa, Alec. Profiles of the Directors are set out in the section headed "Directors and Senior Management Profiles" of this annual report.
Members of the Board possess various experience, capabilities, and expertise suitable for and relevant to the Company's businesses. The Board includes experts in electric power technology and management, professionals in finance and law as well as scholars. They are not only experienced, but also have progressive thinking.
More than one-third of our Board members are independent non-executive directors who can help the Board to make more effective independent judgment. The non-executive Directors (including the independent non-executive Directors) who form the majority of the Board possess diverse expertise. As such, they are able to make decisions in an objective and professional manner, to assist the management in formulating the Company's development strategies, and to ensure that the preparation of financial and other mandatory reports by the Board are in strict adherence to appropriate standards in order to protect the interests of the shareholders and the Company.
The Board has received annual written confirmation of independence from each of the independent non-executive Directors and believed that, as at the date of this annual report, they were independent of the Company in accordance with the relevant requirements of the Listing Rules.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The CG Code provision A.2.1 stipulates that the roles of chairman and chief executive should be separated and should not be performed by the same individual. Ms. Li Xiaolin currently serves as Chairman of the Board and chief executive officer. The Board believes that Ms. Li Xiaolin has served as the chief executive officer of the Company and accumulated extensive experience in the capital market and the industry. It will be more effective in developing the Company's long-term business strategies and in execution of the Company's business plans if Ms. Li Xiaolin continues to serve as the chief executive officer of the Company. To help maintain a balance of power, the Company has set up an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee was formed by all executive Directors and senior management and meetings were convened regularly to make decisions on matters concerning the daily management and business of the Company.
The Chairman, Ms. Li Xiaolin, provides leadership for the Board. She is responsible for ensuring that all Directors receive adequate information, which must be complete and reliable, in a timely manner and that Directors are properly briefed on issues arising at the Board meetings. She also ensures that the Board works effectively and discharges its responsibilities; good corporate governance practices and procedures are established; and appropriate steps are taken to provide effective communication with shareholders and that views of shareholders are communicated to the Board as a whole.
Appointment, Re-election and Removal
In accordance with the Company's Articles of Association, one-third of the Directors (including non-executive Directors with fixed term of three years, but with the exception of the executive Director who is also the chief executive officer of the Company) will retire from office by rotation for re-election by shareholders at all the subsequent annual general meetings after the annual general meeting in year 2007. In addition, any new appointment to the Board is subject to reappointment by shareholders at the upcoming general meeting.
The CG Code provision A.4.2 also stipulates that every director, including those appointed for a specific term, should be subject to retirement by rotation at least once every three years. However, as provided in the Articles of Association of the Company, the executive Director who is also the chief executive officer of the Company shall not be subject to retirement by rotation.
The Company is of the view that the position of chief executive officer is crucial to the operation of the Company. The Articles of Association of the Company stipulate that the chief executive officer shall not be subject to retirement by rotation, which reflects the importance of this position and ensures that the impact of the change of personnel on the operation of the Company is kept to minimal.
Power of and Delegation by the Board
The Board is the highest decision-making and managing body of the Company. Having regard to the best interests of the Company and its shareholders, the Board reviews and approves major matters such as strategies, policies, business plans, financial budgets, major investments as well as mergers and acquisitions. In addition, the Directors have acknowledged that the principal responsibilities of the Board also include corporate governance, supervising and administrating the operation and financial position of the Company, approving the result announcements and other disclosures as required in accordance with applicable laws and regulatory rules, optimizing corporate governance structure and promoting the communication with our shareholders.
Under the Board currently have three committees, namely Audit Committee, Remuneration and Nomination Committee and Executive Committee to implement internal supervision and control on each relevant aspects of the Company. The Board delegates certain management and operational functions to the Executive Committee and the management, and reviews such arrangements periodically to ensure that such arrangements remain appropriate to the Group's needs.
The management has overall responsibility for the Group's daily operations. The Board establishes clear responsibilities and authorities for management to ensure the operational efficiency. It acts within the authority approved by the Board to fulfill the day-to-day management responsibilities and makes timely decisions. With regard to matters beyond its authority, the management will report to the Board or the Executive Committee in a timely manner in accordance with the relevant working guidelines.
The Company established the Audit Committee on 24 August 2004 with written terms of reference in compliance with the Listing Rules and the CG Code provisions. The primary duties and functions of the Audit Committee set out in its terms of reference, inter alia, include the following:
The Audit Committee comprises of three members, namely Mr. Kwong Che Keung, Gordon, Mr. Li Fang and Mr. Tsui Yiu Wa, Alec, all of whom are independent non-executive Directors. The chairman and the secretary of the Audit Committee are served by Mr. Kwong Che Keung, Gordon and the Company Secretary of the Company respectively. For the purpose of reinforcing their independence, all members of the Audit Committee have appropriate professional qualifications, accounting or related financial management experience referred to in the Listing Rules.
The Audit Committee held two meetings during 2012 (average attendance was 100%). The committee's work performed during the year included:
The details of the terms of reference of the Audit Committee have been posted on the websites of the Company and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Remuneration and Nomination Committee
The Company established the Remuneration and Nomination Committee on 24 August 2004 with written terms of reference in compliance with the Listing Rules and the CG Code provisions. The primary duties and functions of the Remuneration and Nomination Committee set out in its terms of reference, inter alia, include the following:
The Remuneration and Nomination Committee has three members, namely Mr. Li Fang, Mr. Kwong Che Keung, Gordon, and Mr. Tsui Yiu Wa, Alec, all of whom are independent non-executive Directors. The chairman and the secretary of the Remuneration and Nomination Committee are served by Mr. Li Fang and the Company Secretary of the Company respectively.
The Remuneration and Nomination Committee held two meetings during 2012 (average attendance was 100%). The committee's work performed during the year included:
The details of the terms of reference of the Remuneration and Nomination Committee have been posted on the websites of the Company and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The Company established the Executive Committee in 2008. As a committee under the Board, the Executive Committee conducts its work under the guidance of the Board and reports to the Board pursuant to the "Working Guidelines for the Executive Committee" approved by the Board. The Chairman of the Board acts as the chairman of the committee. The members of the committee include the president, vice presidents, financial controller and other senior management. It has been delegated with the responsibility to ensure the effective direction and control of the business and to deliver the Group's long-term strategies and goals. It advises the Board in formulating policies in relation to the Group's business operations, monitors the performance and compliance of the business, and supervises the management to implement the Board resolutions.
The Executive Committee acts as a bridge for communication and connection between the Board and the management, and plays a crucial role in enhancing the quality of corporate governance as well as strengthening the management efficiency of the Company. It ensures that the Board can timely hear the voices of the operation and management staff and acts timely in respect of material operation affairs of the Company. It meets on a regular basis to review the Group's activities and discuss management and operational issues.
The Executive Committee held eight meetings during 2012. The Chairman of the Board, the president and senior management of the Company all attended each meeting.
Ms. Cheung Siu Lan, secretary of the company, is an employee of the Company, appointed by the Board, and responsible to the Board. The Company Secretary is responsible for ensuring that the activities of the Board conducted efficiently and effectively, and the procedures and all applicable laws and regulations complied with. She also supports and facilitates the training and professional development of Directors.
The Company Secretary reports to the Chairman and the Board, provides advice on corporate governance, and assists the Board in discharging its obligations to shareholders pursuant to the Listing Rules. All Directors may call upon her for advice and assistance at any time in respect to their duties and the effective operation of the Board and the Board Committees.
During the year under review, Ms. Cheung has attended relevant professional seminars to update her skills and knowledge. She has complied with the revised Listing Rules to take no less than 15 hours of relevant professional training in a financial year.
Code of Conduct and Training of Directors
Every newly appointed Director will receive a comprehensive, formal and tailored induction on the first occasion of his/her appointment, so as to ensure that he/she has a proper understanding of the operations and business of the Company, and that he/she is fully aware of his/her responsibilities under Statutes and Common Law, the Listing Rules, applicable rules and other regulatory requirements, and especially the governance policies of the Company. All Directors have been given the "Guidelines on Directors' Duties" and "Working Guidelines for the Board" of the Company. The Company Secretary will continuously update and refresh Directors on the latest law, rules and regulations regarding their duties and responsibilities. All Directors are required to disclose to the Company their offices held in public companies or organizations and other significant commitments.
The Company has adopted a set of Code of Conduct for Securities Transactions by Directors ("Code of Conduct"), the terms of which are not less exacting than the Model Code for Securities Transactions by Directors of Listed Issuers as set out in Appendix 10 to the Listing Rules. Having made specific inquiries to all Directors, all Directors confirmed that they have complied with the Code of Conduct throughout 2012.
The Company has arranged appropriate insurance cover on Directors' and officers' liabilities in respect of legal actions against its Directors and senior management arising out of corporate activities.
Directors' training is an ongoing process, in order to ensure that their contribution to the Board remains informed and relevant. The Company encourages all Directors to participate in appropriate training programs. During the year under review, all members of the Board have provided their records of training they received to the Company Secretary for record. Their trainings included attending seminars and discussion forums, reading briefing and update materials.
Operation of Meetings and Supply of and Access to Information
Full Board or committee papers will be sent to all Directors at least three days before the intended date of a Board meeting or a committee meeting.
Management has supplied the Board and its committees with adequate information and explanations so as to enable them to make an informed assessment of the financial and other information put before the Board and its committees for approval. Management is also invited to join the Board or committee meetings where appropriate.
Where necessary, the Directors can seek separate independent professional advice at the Company's expenses so as to discharge his/their duties to the Company. Minutes of the meetings are kept by our Company Secretary, and the Board and committee members may inspect the documents and minutes of the Board and the committees at any time.
All the Directors are also entitled to have access to timely information in relation to our business and make further enquiries where necessary, and they have separate and independent access to senior management.
Directors' Attendance Record
In the year 2012, the attendance records of the Directors at Board meetings, Audit Committee meetings, Remuneration and Nomination Committee meetings and the Annual General Meeting are as follows:
Accountability and Audit
Directors acknowledge their responsibility for preparing the financial statements on a going concern basis, with supporting assumptions or qualifications as necessary. The Company's financial statements are prepared in accordance with the Listing Rules, Companies Ordinance and also the accounting principles and practices generally accepted in Hong Kong. Appropriate accounting policies are selected and applied consistently; judgments and estimates made are prudent and reasonable.
From January 2012, all Directors have been given on a monthly basis the latest information and briefing about the financial position, changes in the business and the development of the Group. The Directors endeavour to ensure a balanced, clear and understandable assessment of the Company's position and prospects in annual reports, interim reports, inside information announcements and other disclosures required under the Listing Rules and other statutory requirements.
The Board puts particular emphasis on risk management and strengthening internal monitoring system. In respect of organizational structure, the Company has set up the Audit Committee, the Remuneration and Nomination Committee and the Executive Committee. The principles of the internal control framework of the Company are: to strengthen the Company's internal monitoring and control in accordance with the requirements of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, continuously improve the Company's corporate governance structure, build up corporate integrity culture, establish an effective control system, continuously assess the competence of the internal control system and the efficiency of the management through auditing, risk assessments and internal assessments, review identified risk exposures and ensure the effective running of the control system.
The Company has established the Internal Control Department which is crucial to the Company's internal controls. To create a good internal control environment, the Internal Control Department provides internal control assessment reports to the management on a regular or ad hoc basis. It also reports to the Audit Committee and the Board at least twice a year on internal control matters. To minimize risk faced by the Company, the department evaluates and reviews the Company's internal control processes to avoid risks and provide a solid foundation for building up an effective internal control system.
The Company has a comprehensive internal control system which includes seven parts, namely "basic framework of the internal control system", "management authorization manual", "staff disciplinary code", "code on conflicts of interests", "operational standards for internal control activities", "assessment standards for internal control system", and "implementation standards for internal audit", details of which are contained in our "Risk Management and Internal Control Specifications". While taking into full account the risk management framework requirements of The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, the promoter of the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting, and risk management guidelines set out by the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the internal control system of the Company also learns from the experience of outstanding management companies and takes into consideration our actual situation and business characteristics in formulating the control framework for assessing the efficiency and competence of the internal control system, which provide a solid foundation to ensure the effectiveness of the Company's operating activities, reliability of its financial reports and compliance of laws and regulations.
The Board through the Audit Committee has reviewed the efficiency of internal control system of the Company and its subsidiaries in aspects such as financial controls, operational controls, regulatory compliance and risk management. The Directors believe that the internal control system is efficient and effectively controls the risks that may have impacts on the Company in achieving its goals.
In 2012, the Internal Control Department completed the "Risk Management and Internal Control Specifications", replacing the old "Internal Control Manual", adding 10 items of businesses for covering all businesses of the Company, ensuring capability of core controls, protecting against all environmental impacts of "super structure, high standards, whole process, strict mandate, emphasizing supervision, strengthening assessment" for management control system. The new "Risk Management and Internal Control Specifications" acts as the basis for evaluation of internal control.
In 2012, the Internal Control Department assessed the internal control systems based on the "Risk Management and Internal Control Specifications", and reviewed the improvement works regarding the issues discovered during the prior year internal control assessment in 2011. By analyzing various internal control points relating to the business processes, we have a better picture of the current conditions of internal control of each business unit and unearthed defects and weaknesses of the internal control system. The results of the internal control studies are incorporated into the business performance assessments for each subsidiary company. By doing so, potential operation and management risks can be avoided and the corporate governance standards as well as economic benefits can be enhanced. During the year under review, no significant area of concern which may affect the shareholders of the Company was found.
In addition, the Internal Control Department adopted appropriate measures to review quarterly the implementation of the Group's existing continuing connected transactions. During the year under review, the relevant companies had monitored strictly pursuant to the terms of the continuing connected transactions in the actual course of business operation and did not exceed the annual cap as disclosed.
For good corporate governance practice, the Board approved launching a "Whistleblowing Policy" in April 2012, for employees and those who deal with the Group (e.g. customers and suppliers) to raise concerns, in secure and confidence manner, with the Internal Control Department about possible improprieties in any matter related to the Group, and through the Internal Control Department reports directly to the Audit Committee.
The Company has enhanced its efforts in internal audit this year to develop the audit of economic responsibility, fund management and financial control of the Company leadership. With enhanced effective internal audit function, internal audits were conducted on the basis of independent supervision and objective assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness of the internal control system in operation.
External Auditor's and its Remuneration
The Company appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as the Company's auditor (the "Auditor"). The Audit Committee is responsible for making recommendations to the Board on the appointment, reappointment and removal of the Auditor, and to approve the remuneration and terms of engagement of the Auditor, and any questions of its resignation or dismissal.
For the year ended 31 December 2012, the Audit Committee reviewed and monitored the Auditor's independence and objectivity and the effectiveness of the audit process in accordance with applicable standards.
For the year ended 31 December 2012, the fees payable by the Company to the Auditor in respect of audit and nonaudit services provided were as follows:
Communication with Shareholders
Apart from reporting to the shareholders and investors on its operations and financial conditions semi-annually and annually, the Company also discloses relevant information such as electricity generation of the Company regularly so that the investors have a better understanding about the operation of the Company. The Company maintains a corporate website at www.chinapower.hk where important and updated information about the Group's activities and corporate matters such as annual and interim reports, announcements, business development and operations, corporate governance practices and other information are available for review by shareholders and other stakeholders. When announcements are made through the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the same information is made available on the Company's website.
The Company also holds regular press conferences and meetings with financial analysts and investors, during which the Company's management will directly provide relevant information and data to the media, financial analysts, fund managers and investors, as well as answer their enquiries in a prompt, complete and accurate manner. The Company's website is updated continuously, providing up-to-date information regarding every aspect of the Company to investors and the public.
The Company has a Capital Markets and Investor Relations Department, which takes charge of the Company's relationship with investor relations by providing information and services to investors, promptly replying to their enquiries, and maintaining channels of active and timely communication with them.
In March 2012, the Board adopted a "Shareholders Communication Policy" of the Company which aims to set out the provisions with the objective of ensuring that the shareholders and potential investors are provided with ready, equal and timely access to balanced and understandable information about the Company, in order to enable shareholders to exercise their rights in an informed manner, and to allow shareholders and potential investors to engage actively with the Company. The "Shareholders Communication Policy" of the Company is posted on the Company's website under the "Corporate Governance" section.
Ms. Li Xiaolin, the chairman of the Board, attended the annual general meeting of the Company held on 18 May 2012 and took the chair of that meeting. All other Directors from the Board and the external independent auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, who is responsible for the audit work of the Company, were also present thereat to be available to answer questions to ensure effective communication with shareholders of the Company.
Procedures for Shareholders to Convene Extraordinary General Meeting
Shareholders of the Company (the "Shareholders") entitled to have right to request the Company to convene an extraordinary general meeting pursuant to Section 113 of the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 32 of the Laws of Hong Kong). The procedures are as follows:
Voting by Poll
Save as provided under the Listing Rules, resolutions put to vote at the general meetings of the Company (other than procedural matters) are taken by poll. Procedures regarding the conduct of the poll are explained to the Shareholders at the commencement of each general meeting, and questions from Shareholders regarding the voting procedures are answered. The poll results are posted on the respective websites of the Company and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on the same day of the poll.
Procedures for Shareholders Sending Enquiries to the Board
Shareholders should direct their questions about their shareholdings to the Company's registrar and whose details are as follows:
Computershare Hong Kong Investor Services Limited
Shops 1712-1716, 17/F., Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2862 8628
Fax: (852) 2865 0990
The Company Secretary and the Capital Markets and Investor Relations Department of the Company also handle both telephone and written enquiries from Shareholders from time to time. Shareholders' enquiries and concerns will be forwarded to the Board and/or relevant Board Committees of the Company, where appropriate, to answer the Shareholders' questions. For Shareholders and investors' enquiries, the contact information is set out in the "Corporate Information" section of this annual report..
Other Procedures for Shareholders' Proposals
The details of the following procedures are available at the Company's website www.chinapower.hk under the "Corporate Governance" section for review.
The Company's constitutional documents have been posted on the Company's website www.chinapower.hk under the "Corporate Governance" section. During the year under review, there was no significant change in the Company's Memorandum and Articles of Associations.
updated 23rd May, 2013
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