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- Responding to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Guidance for Multinational Employers in Hong Kong
With the situation surrounding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) rapidly changing, multinational companies with operations in Hong Kong should be aware of how to handle challenging employment issues during this time.
- Responding to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Guidance for Hong Kong Financial Institutions
With the situation surrounding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus rapidly changing, key practical considerations for financial institutions regulated by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission and Hong Kong Monetary Authority include business continuity planning, contract issues, and notification and filing requirements.
- COVID-19 and Business Interruption Insurance
The novel coronavirus, now officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation, has become a global pandemic. Nearly all sectors of business in Asia are significantly affected, ranging from hospitality, entertainment, tourism, food and beverage to supply chain and logistics. Insurers are bracing themselves for a busy year ahead as claims in medical and life insurance, event cancellation insurance and travel insurance surge. We also expect to see a rise in claims and related litigation arising out of property and business interruption policies as business owners scramble to save jobs and stay afloat.
- Hong Kong Capital Markets Update - Weathering the COVID-19 Corona Virus Outbreak
Many still recall the SARS outbreak, which caused a slowdown in the economy and a plunge in the stock market, properties market and capital markets deal flow during that period. Years later, people would look back and regret not seizing the buying opportunities. While sentiments were low at that time, the market picked up quickly in the second half of 2003, and we had a strong second half going into the end of that year. Things are still unfolding in relation to the COVID-19 virus during the time of this article (14 February 2020), but here are a few thoughts in relation to capital markets transactions that sponsors and other advisers should consider.
- “Right-Sizing” Hong Kong Commercial Leases: Key Issues to Consider in the Context of Business Disruption & COVID-19
Business disruption seems to have become the new norm in Hong Kong in the last 12 months or so. The first quarter of 2019 was dominated by news of a regional slowdown caused by the US/China Trade War. The second half of the year was characterised by frequent protests on the streets, in the malls and railway stations of Hong Kong. The first quarter of 2020 and no doubt for longer will be impacted by COVID-19. Hong Kong is famously resilient and will no doubt bounce back at some stage. In the meantime businesses are being dramatically hit and some landlords are now offering significant rental discounts on existing retail leases. As the C-Suite review their targets for the year, it will not be a surprise if many will be re-assessing their real estate needs in Hong Kong. This article will examine some of the key issues to consider in a COVID-19 world in the context of any evaluation of your commercial leasing portfolio in Hong Kong. We will also end this note with a few comments on whether force majeure provisions will now apply given the impact of Covid-19. Please see full Newsletter below for more information.
- Arbitration or winding-up: Debt collection in Hong Kong following Lasmos
Lasmos Limited v Southwest Pacific Bauxite (HK) Limited - Before the topical Lasmos decision in March 2018, the general position, where a company faced with a winding-up petition wanted to have it struck out, was for the company to demonstrate that it had a bona fide dispute on substantial grounds in relation to the debt relied upon by the petitioner.
- Luxury retailers in Hong Kong and neighboring markets face Coronavirus crisis
Over the past nine months in Hong Kong, luxury retailers have encountered a challenging market. Hong Kong has traditionally been a popular destination for Mainland Chinese seeking to purchase luxury goods, but recent political unrest and consequent protests have seen a dramatic reduction in cross-border visitors and a narrowing market for the luxury goods sector.
- SFC Licensing Guidance for Private Equity Firms
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a circular (Circular) on January 7, 2020, which clarifies that private equity firms conducting, or holding themselves out as conducting, regulated activities in Hong Kong would be required to be licensed by the SFC under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO). This is a significant development for the private equity industry in Hong Kong, as a number of private equity firms that are based in Hong Kong have taken the view that they need not be licensed by the SFC. Nonetheless, unlicensed private equity firms that currently operate under a licensing exemption may continue to do so, provided their activities in Hong Kong fall squarely within the exemption.
- Coronavirus and the work place: what employers need to know
After more than six months of protests, the Hong Kong economy has been dealt yet another devastating blow with the spread of the Coronavirus. On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus a Global Health Emergency. The Hong Kong Government announced that all civil servants may work from home (save for essential services) until at least 7 February 2020, while continuing to review the situation as the epidemic develops. The private sector has been advised to follow suit, with some companies adopting a similar approach whilst others are determined to continue business as usual despite widespread anxiety in the city.
- China Accelerates Blockchain Adoption in the New Decade
The Situation: Authorities in China have cracked down on privately developed cryptocurrency, yet have heavily invested in and encouraged the development of other blockchain applications and services. The Result: The rapidly rising number of blockchain projects in China is accompanied by increased regulation, including a requirement that blockchain-related projects be registered with the Cyberspace Administration of China.
- Listing in Hong Kong: The Process for Delaware Companies
Delaware companies now have a roadmap to apply for a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In February 2012, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) issued Listing Decision HKEx-LD24-2012, which permits companies incorporated in Delaware to list on HKEx if they comply with...
- New-Tech Credit Cards On The Way
The Bank of China Hong Kong announced recently that it plans to launch its first credit card that is compatible with Near Field Communication ("NFC) technology this year....
- Hong Kong SFC Continues To Step Up Its Enforcement Action amidst Enhanced Regulation of IPO Sponsors
With the date for the introduction of the new regulatory regime for IPO sponsors now just a matter of weeks away on October 1, 2013, the Hong Kong market has witnessed further action taken by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) against a Hong Kong-listed company accused of behaviour that...
- A Materially Different View On Pre-deal Research Reports In Hong Kong IPOs
As financial markets globalize, particular markets have increasing opportunities to shape themselves by adopting processes, concepts and regulatory frameworks borrowed from other markets. Given their highly-developed nature, United States capital markets feature many aspects that have been...
- "Hong Kong Regulatory Update"
This Hong Kong regulatory update is intended to provide a brief overview of the principal Hong Kong regulatory developments in the preceding three months relevant to companies listed or proposed to be listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the HKEx) and their advisers, including HKEx...
- Hong Kong Closer to Complete Overhaul of Regulatory Regime for Payment Systems
On 23 January 2015, and following a lengthy consultation process, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong published the Clearing and Settlement Systems (Amendment) Bill 2015 (the “Bill”) which proposes a new regulatory regime for stored value facilities (SVF) and retail payment systems (RPS) in Hong...
- Full Steam Ahead for the Through-Train – Part Two: The Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect
The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect (“Shanghai Train”), a pilot program for establishing mutual stock market access between Mainland China and Hong Kong, was announced in April 2014 by Premier Li Keqiang at the Boao Forum for Asia, and was officially launched in November 2014. The new cross-border ...
- Hong Kong: Law Reform Commission Recommends Allowing Third-Party Funding for Arbitration
Consultation Paper reviews Third-Party Funding in other jurisdictions, finding the practice may lead to better outcomes in disputes. The Hong Kong Law Reform Commission published a Consultation Paper on 19 October 2015 recommending that Third-Party Funding (TPF) for arbitration ...
- SFC Published the Consultation Conclusions on the Client Agreement Requirements
On 8 December 2015, the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (the “SFC”) released the “Consultation Conclusions on the Client Agreement Requirements” (“Consultation Conclusions”), in which the SFC has resolved to proceed with the proposal to require the incorporation of a new clause into...
- Hong Kong in the Spotlight – the ICIJ Release Panama Papers Offshore Companies Data
On May 9, 2016 the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released a searchable database with information on almost 320,000 offshore entities from of the Panama Papers and Offshore Leaks investigations. The Mossack Fonesca leaks and subsequent publication of the database, the...