Monday, November 12, 2007

何解因噎廢食

在講求資訊的年代,竟然有人會想開倒車。香港會計師公會早前就港交所(388)發出的定期財務匯報諮詢文件中,認為現時不適合在主板推行季度業績!


當然,該會有解釋,他們話推行季度業績不一定達到增加市場效益和保護投資者利益,更可能令主板上市公司只著重短期營運目標,且對每季提供正面數字帶來壓力,而且可能令這些企業成本上升,進一步來說,更可能削弱香港市場的競爭力。


禤中怡從一個普通投資者角度看,似乎有點奇怪。首先,無論是美國上市的企業,或近至本港的創業板公司,甚至連「阿爺」的A股公司也需披露季度業績,不見得影響市場效益,那麼以上的意見是否反映美國上市的公司、創業板公司和內地A股公司管理層有壓力呢?


該會當然有好建議,就是仿效英國現時的做法,採用「管理報告」方式,交代重大交易和計劃等,較著重整體發展方向。不過,上市公司一旦有重大交易時,不是要即時披露的嗎?還要等3個月?


其實,上市公司每季公布業績,應可提升透明度,因為投資者知道愈多,就可更快作出投資決定,而公司管理層「定必」要承受來自股東的壓力,因為擔任的職位就是要肩負這個責任,只要企業管治質素佳,是否追趕短期營運目標已非重要,因為自然會反映在公司股價身上。更重要的是,你估公司管理層會否每隔半年才望望公司的帳目嗎?


有趣的是,現時歐美先進各國的經濟數據也是每個月更新,雖然可能之後有修訂,但時間更短促,涉及層面更廣,製作有難度嗎?還是那些數據不足信嗎?


至於成本上升就更令人忍俊不禁,上市成本就是包括提供高透明度的公司資訊,讓市場加深認識,否則上市作啥?倒不如變回私人公司,無需花費大筆資金去提供年報給眾多股東,兼不用向外披露經營數據等煩瑣事項,公關部門也可裁掉。


好了,該會就縮短公布業績期限的建議中,終於見到他們的心底話,就是大家要留意現時香港正面對會計和核數專才短缺的問題。見到這個場面,多少可解釋成本上升的原因,簡單來說,就是人手不足,又要上市公司出季度業績,實際問題就會出現!


禤中怡才疏學淺,想起「因噎廢食」的典故。假使有人在吃飯時噎死,就禁止天下人飲食;假若有人在乘船時溺死,就禁止天下人乘船;這種做法豈非不但失去改善的動力,兼且不去做應該要做的事,屆時恐怕真的會減低香港上市公司的競爭力吧。


(11月12日刊於《am730》)

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