Asia

Hong Kong: HKMA publishes Open API Framework

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has recently (18 July 2018) released its final Open API Framework. The formulation of the Open API Framework is one of the seven initiatives announced by the HKMA in September 2017 to facilitate the move into a new era of Smart Banking. The framework sets out a phased approach to … Continue Reading

Norton Rose Fulbright Hong Kong contributes to pioneering ASIFMA report on Best Practices for Digital Asset Exchanges

‘Best Practices for Digital Asset Exchanges’ is a first-of its kind report released by ASIFMA, the region’s leading trade association for the financial industry. The report aims to guide digital exchanges towards international best practices and highlights key areas for consideration, including the listing processes, market abuse issues, regulatory considerations, cybersecurity and engagement with external … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: HKMA publishes a revised guideline on Virtual Banks

Following a public consultation, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) published a revised Guideline on Authorization of Virtual Banks (the Guideline) on 30 May 2018. The Guideline supersedes the previous guideline issued in 2000 (and updated in 2012). Our blog entry dated 4 March 2018 which provides details of the public consultation can be found … Continue Reading

SFC publishes consultation conclusion on disclosure requirements for discretionary accounts

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published its consultation conclusion on 23 May 2018 in relation to the proposed disclosure requirements for intermediaries providing discretionary account management services (Discretionary Account Managers). This consultation conclusion has been released in connection with the consultation on this topic issued by the SFC in November 20171. In view of … Continue Reading

Hong Kong’s SFC steps in to halt ICO

An investigation by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has led to the halt and unwinding of an initial coin offering (ICO) by Black Cell Technology Limited (Black Cell) to the Hong Kong public on the basis that Black Cell potentially engaged in unauthorized promotional and unlicensed regulated activities. Black Cell promoted the token … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Recent developments in the HKMA’s new era of smart banking

In September 2017, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) launched seven initiatives aimed at creating a “new era of smart banking”. The HKMA has recently published consultation papers relating to two of these. Firstly, on 11 January 2018, the HKMA launched an industry consultation setting out its planned approach to Open Application Programming Interfaces (Open … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Hong Kong companies subject to a new “significant controllers” regime – effective 1 March 2018

Further to our previous blog post, the provisions of the Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 will take effect on 1 March 2018. This amendment to the Companies Ordinance (Cap 622) (the Companies Ordinance) introduces new requirements on a company to identify persons who have “significant control” over the company and to maintain certain information about such … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Enhanced disclosure requirements for sale of structured products not regulated by the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO)

On 5 January 2018, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued a circular setting out guidance relating to the implementation of changes to the paragraphs of the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the SFC (Code) relating to: (i) ‘Disclosure of monetary and non-monetary benefits’ (paragraph 8.3), and (ii) ‘Independence’ (paragraph … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: SFC issues updated guidance on cooperation for SFC investigations and enforcement proceedings

On 12 December 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued an updated guidance note regarding the benefits of cooperating on its investigations and enforcement proceedings (Guidance Note). The SFC also published a new set of Frequently Asked Questions to supplement the Guidance Note (FAQs). As noted in the FAQs, one of the key changes … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Managing conflicts of interest in financial groups

On 24 November 2017, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a joint circular on the results of their joint review on the potential conflicts of interest which may arise from the sale of in-house products by licensed corporations and registered institutions (collectively, intermediaries) within a single financial … Continue Reading

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
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