Hong Kong: SFC releases consultation conclusions on proposed guidelines for securities margin financing activities

On 4 April 2019, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) released the conclusions of its consultation on proposed guidelines for securities margin financing activities (the Guidelines). The existing conduct requirements for securities margin financing activities are mainly prescribed in the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the SFC and the Management, … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: SFC issues reminder about security token offerings

On 28 March 2019, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published a statement reminding parties who engage in security token offerings (STOs) to be aware of the applicable legal and regulatory requirements.  This statement is helpful given that STOs are a relatively new form of token issuance. STOs are specific offerings which are structured to … Continue Reading

China overhauls its Foreign Investment Regulatory Regime

On March 15, 2019, the long-awaited Foreign Investment Law of China (Foreign Investment Law) was passed at the National People’s Congress of China, turning a new chapter of regulatory and legal regime for foreign direct investment in the second largest economy in the world. Our briefing note on the new regime can be found here. … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: BCBS issues statement on crypto-assets

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) have shone a light on the risks associated with crypto-assets in a statement issued on 13 March 2019, calling on banks who acquire exposures to crypto-assets to take appropriate and specific measures to mitigate such risks. The BCBS is the primary global standard setter for the prudential regulation … Continue Reading

Amendments to Malaysian anti-corruption law

Background Earlier this year, the Malaysian Parliament amended the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (MACC Act) to incorporate a new Section 17A on corporate liability for corruption. The new section not only establishes a new statutory corporate liability offence of corruption by a commercial organisation, but also deems any director, controller, officer, partner or manager … Continue Reading

Deferred Prosecution Agreements in Singapore – five things you should know

Earlier this year, the Singapore Parliament passed the Criminal Justice Reform Act 2018 (the Criminal Justice Act) introducing, among other things, a formal legislative framework for the Public Prosecutor to enter into deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) with corporate offenders to resolve misconduct. This change represents a significant shift in Singapore’s approach towards corporate wrongdoing, and … Continue Reading

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