Earlier this year, the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs. In Hong Kong, in view of rapid developments of virtual asset (VA) products and growing investment products offering exposure to VAs, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a circular, on 22 December 2023, detailing requirements for investment funds with exposure of more than 10% of net asset value (NAV) to VA seeking authorization for public offerings in Hong Kong (Circular).Read More
In our previous blog, we discussed the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)’s position on the taxonomy of tokenized securities and digital securities, and whether tokenized securities will be regarded as “complex products”. In this blog, we explore the guidance set forth in the SFC’s circular on intermediaries engaging in tokenized securities-related activities (the Circular).Read More
On 2 November 2023, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a circular addressing the participation of intermediaries in tokenized securities-related activities (the Circular). The move was timely, as we are seeing a growing interest among financial institutions in tokenizing traditional financial instruments in global financial markets.
The Circular supersedes the SFC’s 2019 Statement on Security Token Offerings (2019 Statement) and clarifies the meaning of tokenized and digital securities.Read More
On 12 July 2018, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) distributed a circular providing guidance to Hong Kong intermediaries which intend to onboard and verify individual clients digitally. This guidance was drafted in response to the increasingly common occurrence of electronic transactions where a more efficient onboarding process is necessary.
Intermediaries are required to take all reasonable steps to establish the identity of their clients, including adopting a satisfactory account opening approach for their clients. If clients are not physically present for identification purposes, there will be a higher chance of risks eventuating including impersonation.
By Rizwan Qayyum
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) have issued formal warnings to seven cryptocurrency exchanges and seven issuers of initial coin offerings. This follows their initial statement on ICOs released on 5 September 2017, and represents their first regulatory action.
The SFC has sent letters to seven cryptocurrency exchanges “in Hong Kong or with connections to Hong Kong”, which provides a warning that they should not be trading cryptocurrencies which are “securities” as defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance (“SFO”) without a licence. The exchanges responded immediately, either by confirming that they do not provide trading services for such currencies or took rectification measures, including removing relevant cryptocurrencies from their platforms.