With the recommendation of the Audit Committee, the Board has proposed Ernst & Young to be appointed as the new auditor of the Company at the Company’s 2013 annual general meeting to hold office until the conclusion of the next forthcoming annual general meeting of the Company. Subject to shareholders’ authorisation, the Board will authorise the Audit Committee to determine the remuneration of Ernst & Young. Pursuant to the “Policy on External Auditor Management” adopted by the Board, the Audit Committee reviewed and monitored and was satisfied with the independence and professionalism of Ernst & Young, based on the principles and standards set out in the said Policy that were in line with international best practices. PricewaterhouseCoopers, the existing auditor of the Company, will retire upon expiration of its current term of office at the Company’s 2013 annual general meeting.
For 2012, the fee paid by the Group to PricewaterhouseCoopers was HK$37 million, of which HK$33 million was for audit services and HK$4 million related to other services. For 2011, the fee charged by PricewaterhouseCoopers was HK$38 million, of which HK$32 million was for audit services and HK$6 million related to other services.