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Hong Kong SFC 2023 Q2 Report: 48,165 Licensees & Registrants in 3,245 Licensed Corporations, Issued $1.1 Million Fines, 4 Individuals Charged for Short Selling, 10 Suspects Charged for Ramp & Dump Scheme, $591 Million Southbound ETF Daily Turnover, 24 Stocks Launched for HKD-RMB Dual Counter Model, Swap Connect Launched, New Licensing for Virtual Asset Trading Platforms, SFC Commit Carbon Neutrality by 2050 & Reduce 50% of Carbon Emissions by 2030

25th August 2023 | Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) has released the SFC 2023 Q2 Report.  At the end of June 2023, there are 48,165 licensees & registrants in 3,245 licensed corporations, with Hong Kong SFC issuing a total of $1.1 million fines (3 corporations, 2 individuals), 4 individuals charged for short selling, 10 suspects charged for ramp & dump scheme, $591 million Southbound ETF daily turnover, 24 stocks launched for the HKD-RMB Dual Counter Model, Swap Connect launched, new licensing for Virtual Asset Trading Platforms, and Hong Kong SFC committing to carbon neutrality by 2050 and reduce 50% of carbon emissions by 2030.  See below for Hong Kong SFC 2023 Q2 Report summary:

“ Hong Kong SFC 2023 Q2 Report: 48,165 Licensees & Registrants in 3,245 Licensed Corporations, Issued $1.1 Million Fines, 4 Individuals Charged for Short Selling, 10 Suspects Charged for Ramp & Dump Scheme, $591 Million Southbound ETF Daily Turnover, 24 Stocks Launched for HKD-RMB Dual Counter Model, Swap Connect Launched, New Licensing for Virtual Asset Trading Platforms, SFC Commit Carbon Neutrality by 2050 & Reduce 50% of Carbon Emissions by 2030 “

 



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Hong Kong SFC 2023 Q2 Report

Hong Kong, Asia’s leading financial centre

23rd August 2023 – The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today published its latest Quarterly Report which summaries key developments from April to June 2023.

New initiatives to develop Hong Kong as an offshore renminbi and risk management centre were launched during the quarter. Swap Connect, the first Connect programme for financial derivatives products, commenced northbound trading in May. It allows investors of Mainland bonds to hedge interest rate risks from Hong Kong. As of end-June, a total of 540 Mainland interbank interest rate swap contracts were traded under Swap Connect, with a gross notional amount of about RMB129 billion or a daily average of about RMB3.9 billion.

In June, the renminbi (RMB) counters of 24 stocks were launched for trading under the HKD-RMB Dual Counter Model. The dual counter market making programme would enhance liquidity and minimise share price gaps between the two counters. Trading of RMB counters has been smooth and orderly so far with an average daily turnover of RMB193.9 million as of end-June.

Southbound ETF (Note 1) trading has maintained strong momentum through the debut year for ETF Connect. Its average daily turnover increased 20 times from $216 million in July 2022 to $4.64 billion in June 2023, which contributed 18.4% of the eligible Hong Kong ETFs’ turnover during the month.

To support the development of the Fintech ecosystem in Hong Kong, the SFC launched a new licensing regime under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance for virtual asset trading platform (VATP) operators in June. Two VATPs licensed under the Securities and Futures Ordinance have obtained the SFC’s approval to provide services to retail investors. The SFC also published a statement to warn VATPs of the potential legal and regulatory consequences of improper practices and remind investors to be wary of the risks of trading virtual assets on unregulated platforms.

On the enforcement front, charges were pressed against four individuals following a joint operation conducted by the SFC and the Hong Kong Police Force against fraudulent activities in securities transactions and illegal short selling. In a separate case involving a large-scale ramp and dump syndicate, 10 more suspects were charged with criminal offences, including key members and an alleged ringleader.

During the quarter, the SFC announced its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, in line with the HKSAR Government’s climate strategy, with an interim target to reduce 50% of its total carbon emissions by 2030.

Key figures for the quarter include:

  • There were 48,165 licensees and registrants, including 3,245 licensed corporations. Among the licensed corporations approved during the quarter, Type 9 (asset management) regulated activity (RA) accounted for 51% and Type 4 (advising on securities) for 37%.
  • The SFC processed 50 new listing applications, including five from pre-profit biotech companies and one from a specialist technology company.
  • The SFC authorised 28 unit trusts and mutual funds (including 12 Hong Kong-domiciled funds) and 47 unlisted structured investment products for public offering in Hong Kong. It registered 21 (Note 2) new open-ended fund companies (OFC).
  • It conducted in-depth inspections of 51 licensed corporations to review their compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • The SFC made 1,227 requests for trading and account records triggered by untoward price and turnover movements.
  • It issued section 179 directions (Note 3) to request information in 16 cases, as part of its ongoing review of corporate disclosures.
  • Three corporations and two individuals were disciplined, which resulted in total fines of $9.2 million.

The report is available on the SFC website.

 

Notes:

  1. Exchange-traded funds.
  2. All of the 21 OFCs are private OFCs.
  3. Section 179 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance gives the SFC the power to compel the production of records and documents from persons related to a listed company.



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