Grant Thornton China awarded coveted H-Share licence by Chinese government

12 December 2010

Hong Kong - Grant Thornton China has been named as one of 12 Chinese accounting firms to be accredited with the coveted new H-Share licence, allowing the mainland firm to sign off audits of Chinese incorporated companies that are also listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In the past, two separate sets of accounts and two separate auditors have been required, one for each jurisdiction.

Xu Hua, CEO of Grant Thornton China, explains, "The new H-Share licence puts Grant Thornton in the 'premier league' of Chinese accounting firms and we are delighted to receive the accreditation. It is an acknowledgement of our local commitment to excellent audit quality and of our globally defined audit methodology, systems and client service levels.

"For companies already listed in both mainland China and Hong Kong, this long awaited move will mean they no longer have to prepare two separate sets of accounts or pay audit fees twice over. Chinese companies seeking a listing will benefit from a wider choice of auditor. And as more Chinese companies seek to raise finance from the capital markets through IPOs, we believe this new system will make it easier for Chinese companies to list in Hong Kong.

"We strongly believe that our ‘one China, one firm’ approach is in the best interests of our clients and the wider business community. The accreditation of the H-Share licence puts Grant Thornton in a unique position to capitalise on this opportunity."

Daniel Lin, managing partner of Grant Thornton Jingdu Tianhua, the Hong Kong office of Grant Thornton China, agrees that the move is in the best interests of Chinese companies, "Grant Thornton is accepted by major financial institutions as a firm able to offer internationally consistent audits of high quality.

"Here in Hong Kong, we are excited to be part of Grant Thornton's 'one China, one firm' platform. With our deep local expertise, as well as our extensive experience of IPOs and serving listed companies in Hong Kong, we look forward to offering our future and existing clients this fully integrated audit service."

Grant Thornton has been involved for some years in the detailed technical process of converging the mainland Chinese and Hong Kong accounting and auditing standards which has helped enable the move to single sign off for audits.