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Sarbanes-Oxley Revisions? ‘No One In Asia Cares’

Many a foreign firm is feathering its shares elsewhere.

So is the assessment of a U.S. investment bank executive in Hong-Kong who says reaction to news of changes in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has been underwhelming. According to the Financial Times, the reason is that many a foreign firm is feathering its shares elsewhere, as supported by listing records. In 2000, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq grabbed 25% of Asia ex-Japan company listings, according to Dealogic; so far this year, that market share has drooped to 4%, giving way to Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Seoul. When it comes to initial public offerings, in 2005, all but one of more than two dozen listed elsewhere. But it’s not just SOX that has knocked the U.S. out of the running. The FT says Asia’s abundant liquidity, Asian investors who have been burned by U.S.-listed Enron and WorldCom, and more foreign firms operating out of Asia have contributed to the decline.

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