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Hong Kong panel recommends reform of rule that lost the city Alibaba's IPO

HONG KONG (Reuters) - An advisory council to the Hong Kong government has recommended a raft of possible reforms to the city's IPO regime, including considering a change to the "one-share-one-vote" rule that cost the city the listing of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

The Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) said in the report issued on Wednesday that Hong Kong's government and regulators should consider revisiting the rule, which prevents companies with unusual ownership structures from listing in the city.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd filed in the United States last month for an initial public offering (IPO) expected to raise more than $15 billion.

Alibaba's decision to list in the U.S. was a blow to Hong Kong's bourse, operated by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. HKEx was initially Alibaba's preferred IPO venue, but the city's regulators balked at any potential violation of the "one-share-one-vote" principle.

The FSDC was set up by Hong Kong's government in January 2013 to examine how the city could maintain its status as a major Asian financial hub amid competition from regional rivals.

Its report on Wednesday also drew attention to HKEx's need to attract more international listings. In 2012 the city attracted just two offerings from overseas companies, while last year the only such deal came from a Chinese-owned company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.

(Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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