Asia

Top Five Considerations for Foreign Banks in China

On November 10, China’s Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said at the information meeting in Beijing that China has decided to further open its financial services industry. In addition to the committed liberalisations of the foreign shareholding restrictions in domestic securities, future, fund management and life insurance  companies, of particular interest is that qualified foreign … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Cyber security and internet trading

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) are increasingly focused on cyber security in light of the threat posed to the integrity, efficiency and soundness of financial markets by cyber threats and hacks. On 27 October 2017, the SFC issued new Guidelines for Reducing and Mitigating Hacking Risks Associated … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: HKMA guidance on management responsibility at registered institutions

On 16 October 2017, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HMKA) issued a circular on management responsibilities for Hong Kong licensed banks which conduct regulated activities (registered institutions). The circular is intended to supplement the existing management prudential regime under the Banking Ordinance framework. Pursuant to the circular, registered institutions are required to notify the HKMA … Continue Reading

Singapore: Revised regulatory regime for venture capital fund managers

The venture capital landscape in Asia continues to be robust. By Q2 2017,  global venture capital deal value reached US$ 40.1 billion, a healthy 55.3% increase.1  Asia accounted for US$12.7 billion, taking the second place from United States led venture capital investments which aggregated US$21.8 billion.2  Europe accounted for US$4.1 billion of global venture capital … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Manager-In-Charge regime comes into force

Following the end of a 6-month transition period, the Manager-In-Charge (MIC) regime introduced by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is now fully implemented, starting from 17 October 2017. The regime seeks to heighten the accountability of senior management at licensed corporations and to promote greater awareness of their obligations. Under the MIC regime, licensed … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Regulatory Cooperation and Enforcement

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) this week outlined an optimistic vision for the future of Hong Kong as a continued pre-eminent global financial centre, especially in relation to its position as the main conduit to the Chinese Mainland, based on the increased collaboration and more effective enforcement measures set out below. Ashley Alder, chief … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Hong Kong Monetary Authority announces a new era of smart banking

On 29 September 2017, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced a range of initiatives aimed at preparing Hong Kong for a new era of smarter banking driven by technological advances. The HKMA press releases were announced on the same day as, and supplement, announcements by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Insurance … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Securities and Futures Commission Regulatory Sandbox

On 29 September 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a circular announcing the launch of the SFC Regulatory Sandbox (the Sandbox) which aims to regulate qualified firms conducting regulated activities under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) in the financial technologies (Fintech) sphere. The circular was issued in tandem with announcements by the … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: New initiatives by the Insurance Authority to facilitate Insurtech in Hong Kong

To promote the development of Insurtech in Hong Kong, the Insurance Authority (IA) launched two initiatives on 29 September 2017, “Insurtech Sandbox” and “Fast Track”. Insurtech Sandbox Insurtech Sandbox aims to facilitate a pilot run of innovative Insurtech applications by authorized insurers in their business operations. Insurtech Sandbox allows authorized insurers to experiment with new … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Hong Kong Monetary Authority circular on the Global Code of Conduct Standards and Practices for the Wholesale Foreign Exchange Market

On 28 September 2017, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued a circular on the Global Code of Conduct Standards and Practices for the Wholesale Foreign Exchange Market (the FX Global Code). The circular notes that the Hong Kong Treasury Markets Association (TMA) has incorporated the FX Global Code into its Code of Conduct. In … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Securities and Futures Commission and the Securities Commission Malaysia sign Fintech cooperation agreement

On 14 September 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Securities Commission Malaysia (SCM) signed a co-operation agreement to collaborate on the promotion of financial innovation in Hong Kong and Malaysia The co-operation agreement sets out a framework for collaboration between the SFC and the SCM and covers matters such as referrals, information … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Securities and Futures Commission has voiced concerns over asset management practices

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) recently issued two circulars to licensed corporations engaged in asset management business.  The circulars were issued following routine inspection by the SFC of corporations licensed for such activity. Irregularities identified relating to private funds and discretionary accounts The first circular was issued by the SFC on 31 July 2017 … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Securities and Futures Commission and the Dubai Financial Services Authority sign fintech co-operation agreement

On 28 August 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) signed a co-operation agreement to collaborate on the promotion of financial innovation in Hong Kong and Dubai. The co-operation agreement sets out a framework for collaboration between the SFC and the DFSA and covers matters such as referrals, … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Police join forces to combat financial crime

On 25 August 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Police (HKP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to formalise and strengthen the parties’ co-operation in combating financial crime. The MoU, which became effective on 25 August 2017, covers a variety of matters, including referral of cases, joint investigations, exchange and … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Key persons in control functions – 30 September 2017 deadline for approval under transitional arrangements

Summary Hong Kong has recently introduced fit and proper requirements for “key persons in control functions”. As a result, an insurer must now obtain the Insurance Authority’s prior approval before appointing a key person in a control function. Individuals who were key persons in control functions before 26 June 2017 can benefit from the Insurance … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Consultation conclusion and further consultation on changes to the Securities and Futures (Financial Resources) Rules

Following a consultation paper issued by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in July 2015, the SFC, on 24 July 2017, published consultation conclusions and further consultation on the proposed capital and other prudential requirements for licensed corporations engaged in over-the-counter derivatives (OTCD) activities and other proposed changes to the Securities and Futures (Financial Resources) … Continue Reading

Singapore – Comprehensive Cyber Bill Published For Consultation

Overview: On 10 July 2017, the Singapore Government unveiled its draft Cybersecurity Bill (the Bill) and announced a public consultation to seek views and comments from the industry and members of public. The public consultation runs from 10 July to 3 August 2017. This Bill comes on the back of various moves by the Singapore … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Proposed amendments to the Companies Ordinance to enhance the transparency of beneficial ownership of Hong Kong companies

The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017 (the Bill) was recently published by the Hong Kong government and is under consideration by Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. The Bill seeks to amend the Companies Ordinance (Cap 622) (the Companies Ordinance) to require certain companies incorporated in Hong Kong to obtain and maintain information about beneficial owners. Subject to … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Issue of HKMA circular providing certain categories of authorized institutions with guidance on their recovery plan obligations

On 6 July 2017, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued a circular in respect of its Supervisory Policy Manual module RE-1 “Recovery Planning” (SPM RE-1).  The circular provides certain categories of authorized banks in Hong Kong (AIs), in particular, overseas incorporated banks with branch operations in Hong Kong and Hong Kong incorporated small scale … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Consultation on new regulations on open-ended fund companies

On 28 June 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) launched a consultation on the proposed rules and code for Hong Kong-incorporated open-ended fund companies (OFCs). At present, Hong Kong investment funds can only be established in the form of a unit trust, and not in corporate form. This is due to the restrictions under … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Proposed AML reforms – Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) (Amendment) Bill 2017

On 28 June 2017, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council considered the new Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) (Amendment) Bill 2017 (the Bill). Subject to the Bill being passed by the Legislative Council, the Government proposes to implement the amendments on 1 March 2018. The Bill proposes to introduce statutory customer due diligence (CDD) and … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: SFC clarifies competency requirements for existing licenced persons intending to carry on asset management business

On 23 June 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (the SFC) issued a circular clarifying certain competency requirements for market participants seeking to be licensed for Type 9 (asset management) regulated activity (Type 9 RA). Pursuant to the circular, the SFC has provided public guidance on the circumstances in which an applicant’s existing experience could … Continue Reading

Disclosure of interests in Hong Kong: Be ready to file with a brand new system

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will introduce a new system for mandatory electronic filing of disclosure of interests notifications (DI notices), which will come into effect on 3 July 2017. From that day onwards, market participants are required to submit DI notices electronically through the new Disclosure of Interests Online System (DION System). … Continue Reading

China Amends Draft Regulation on Cross-Border Data Transfer

We have just received a revised draft of China’s Measures on Security Assessment of Cross-border Data Transfer of Personal Information and Important Data (Measures). We have outlined the changes made to the draft Measures first issued on 11 April 2017 for public comment (see our previous briefing and blog post). The revised draft is likely to be the … Continue Reading
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