Emma de Ronde (HK)

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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: 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: 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

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

Fintech and Regtech Co-operation Agreement between Hong Kong and the UK

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) signed a Co-operation Agreement on 12 May 2017 to facilitate innovation in financial services in their respective markets – the latest development in the trend of cross-border collaboration among regulators in the Fintech and Regtech space. Each of the … Continue Reading

SFC launches consultation on proposed guidelines on online distribution and advisory platforms

On 5 May 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a consultation paper on the proposed guidelines on online distribution and advisory platforms (Proposed Guidelines). The Proposed Guidelines are a response to the recent expansion of different forms of online platform, which offer a wide range of investment services and functions to various investors. … Continue Reading

Hong Kong Resolution Regime for Financial Institutions – one step closer to commencement

On 6 April 2017, the Government and financial regulators in Hong Kong, namely the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Insurance Authority (IA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), published their conclusion on the public consultation relating to the protected arrangements regulation, bringing the Financial Institutions (Resolution) Ordinance (Chapter 628 of the Laws of … Continue Reading

Hong Kong SFC’s Manager-In-Charge Regime – are you on track?

Hong Kong’s new Manager-In-Charge regime comes into effect on 18 April 2017. This introduces measures to heighten the accountability of the senior management at licensed corporations and increase awareness of their obligations. The Manager-In-Charge Regime impacts all corporations licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission and their senior management in Hong Kong. Senior management outside … Continue Reading

Hong Kong securities regulator launches consultation on proposed amendments to the Professional Investor Rules

The Securities and Futures Commission (the SFC) recently launched a public consultation process in respect of proposed amendments to the Securities and Futures (Professional Investor) Rules (Chapter 571D of the Laws of Hong Kong) (the Professional Investor Rules).  The public consultation process was launched on 1 March 2017. The principal changes proposed in respect of … Continue Reading

SFC and SEC enter into a memorandum of understanding to enhance supervision of cross-border regulated entities

To facilitate mutual assistance in the supervision and oversight of cross-border regulated entities, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the United Stated Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have recently entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU). The MoU is a response to the growing globalisation of financial markets and the increased cross-border activities of … Continue Reading

Hong Kong Monetary Authority and UK’s Financial Conduct Authority sign fintech co-operation agreement

Earlier this week, on 7 December 2016, at the London–Hong Kong Financial Services Forum, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) signed an agreement undertaking to collaborate on the promotion of financial innovation in the UK and Hong Kong. To facilitate this goal, the HKMA and FCA will work together … Continue Reading

Fintech Facilitation Office (FFO) launches white paper on distributed ledger technology

On 11 November 2016, the ‘Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute’s White Paper on Distributed Ledger Technology’ (the White Paper) was commissioned by the FFO of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) to investigate the potential applications of distributed ledger technology (DLT). Although fintech is already widely used in areas such as internet … Continue Reading

SFC launches consultation into asset management regulation and point-of-sale transparency

In an effort to strengthen Hong Kong’s status as a leading asset management centre, on 23 November 2016 the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) launched a three-month consultation into proposals to amend the Fund Manager Code of Conduct (FMCC) and the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the Securities and Futures … Continue Reading

Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s fintech sandbox

On 6 September 2016, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) released a circular advising the launch of its Fintech Supervisory Sandbox (Sandbox). The Sandbox is intended to facilitate pilot trials of newly developed technologies and applications by authorized institutions (AIs) without the need to achieve full compliance with HKMA’s requirements, thereby allowing AIs to collate … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Further consultation conclusions on introducing mandatory clearing and expanding mandatory reporting for OTC derivatives market

On 15 July 2016, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and Securities and Futures Commission published their further conclusions (Further Conclusions) on their consultation paper issued in September 2015 (Consultation Paper) on introducing mandatory clearing and expanding mandatory reporting for the second stage of the over-the-counter derivatives regulatory regime. The consultation conclusions, summarising and addressing … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Financial Institutions (Resolution) Ordinance

The Financial Institutions (Resolution) Ordinance (the Ordinance) was passed by the Legislative Council on 22 June 2016 and gazetted on 30 June 2016. The Ordinance aims to bring Hong Kong in line with the latest international standards, being the ‘Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions’ set by the Financial Stability Board, and … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: SFC releases updated Frequently Asked Questions on Offers of Investments and provides specific guidance on real property structures

On 17 June 2016, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published an updated set of Frequently Asked Questions on “Offers of Investments” under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (FAQs). The FAQs now include a new Appendix 1 which provides guidance on collective investment schemes involving interests in real property, as well as updated answers to … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: Changes to the list of “specified shares” that are subject to the Short Position Reporting regime

On 18 May 2016, the Securities and Futures Commission published an updated list of “specified shares” listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange which are subject to the Securities and Futures (Short Position Reporting) Rules (Cap 571AJ).  A report is required to be made to the Securities and Futures Commission where a person has a … Continue Reading

Hong Kong: SFO amended to facilitate the operation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

With effect from 11 July 2016, the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap 571 of the laws of Hong Kong) (SFO) will be amended to extend the SFO definition of “multilateral agency” to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).  This amendment means the AIIB will be able to enjoy certain statutory benefits that are made available … Continue Reading
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