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- Sustainable finance and ESG in Hong Kong
Background – global drivers of sustainable finance and ESG - In recent years, there has been increasing attention globally on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, with accelerated focus following the 2020 outbreak of the pandemic on concerns of sustainability and broader social issues such as healthcare, rising poverty and social inequalities. COP26 this year will be the fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, as a legally binding international agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Many countries and governments are committing to meeting Paris-aligned climate targets, towards limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. There is increasing urgency that much more concrete steps and significant levels of investments are needed through green or sustainable finance, or the world would likely miss this target, with potential catastrophic consequences of climate change that would need to be addressed. Please see full Publication below for more information.
- Hong Kong Court awards damages for misuse of personal data collected by CCTV system
In Hong Kong, it is not unusual to see closed circuit television (CCTV) systems installed in public places, common areas of private buildings and in road vehicles. Whilst CCTV surveillance for security reasons or for deterrence of crimes is generally considered to be legitimate, the use of any personal data collected by CCTV must be within the bounds of data privacy laws.
- Hong Kong's Proposed Licensing Regime for Virtual Asset Service Providers
The Hong Kong Government released the conclusions of its public consultation on a proposed licensing regime for virtual asset services providers ("VASPs") on 21 May 2021 (the "Consultation Conclusions"). Having received broad support for its proposals, the Government will now proceed to prepare draft legislation without any significant changes to the consultation proposals and aim to introduce a bill in the 2021-22 legislative session.
- The New Cross-Border Arrangement Between Hong Kong and Mainland China on Insolvency and Restructuring Matters – A Comparison with Chapter 15 of the United States Bankruptcy Code
On May 14, 2021, the Department of Justice of the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region announced that the Secretary for Justice of Hong Kong and the Vice-president of the Supreme People’s Court (the “SPC”) had signed the Record of Meeting on Mutual Recognition of and Assistance to Bankruptcy (Insolvency) Proceedings between the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the “ROM”). The ROM concerns the commencement and implementation of the much anticipated cross-border mutual recognition, assistance and cooperation arrangement between Hong Kong and mainland China (the “Mainland”) in relation to corporate insolvency and restructuring matters (the “Cooperation Arrangement”). To give effect to this milestone agreement, on the same day the SPC issued The Supreme People’s Court’s Opinion on Taking Forward a Pilot Measure in relation to the Recognition of and Assistance to Insolvency Proceedings in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the “SPC Opinion”) and the Hong Kong government issued a Practical Guide setting out the procedure for a Mainland administrator’s application to the Courts of Hong Kong for recognition and assistance (the “Guide”). Please see full Publication below for more information.
- Hong Kong Corporate & Regulatory Insights – April 2021
Equity Capital Markets - The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK) publishes consultation paper on review of corporate governance code and related Listing Rules - SEHK published a consultation paper outlining proposed enhancements to the Corporate Governance Code and Corporate Governance Report (the Code), as well as related amendments to the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on SEHK (Listing Rules). Key proposals include... Please see full Publication for more information.
- Hong Kong Confirms New Regulatory Licensing Regime for Virtual Asset Exchanges
The Hong Kong government has issued its widely anticipated consultation conclusions on a new framework to regulate virtual asset exchanges. On 21 May 2021, the Hong Kong Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) issued its consultation conclusions (Conclusions) on the introduction of a new regulatory framework in Hong Kong to licence and regulate virtual asset exchange (VA Exchange) operators.
- Suspension of employment: Employers’ rights clarified
In the recent decision of Lengler Werner v. Hong Kong Express Airways Ltd the High Court examined and clarified issues surrounding an employer’s legal right to suspend an employee’s duties.
- Hong Kong’s Carried Interest Tax Concession – Zero % Tax!
Following the enactment last year of the Limited Partnership Fund Ordinance, which has seen strong take up in its first eight months of operation, the new tax concession on carried interest earned from the activities of private equity funds which was proposed by the Hong Kong Government in 2020, has now been introduced. The Inland Revenue (Amendment) (Tax Concessions for Carried Interest) Ordinance 2021 (“Ordinance”) was enacted into law on 7 May, 2021, by way of amendment to the Inland Revenue Ordinance (“IRO”). Under this new concession, eligible carried interest received or accrued on or after from 1 April, 2020 will be subject to zero percent profits tax. Individuals who have received carried interest or to whom any such sum has accrued, will also be eligible for a 100% deduction for those sums against their assessable income.
- HK Court of Appeal confirms the exceptional nature of the taking of evidence by way of video conferencing facilities
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, various travel restrictions and quarantine requirements remain in place. As the Hong Kong Judiciary recognises in the Guidance Note for Remote Hearings for Civil Business in the Civil Courts (Phase 3: Wider Video-Conferencing Facilities and Telephone), the public health situation “may impact the ability of witnesses and other participants to travel to and appear in the Hong Kong courts”.
- Hong Kong and mainland China agree new co-operation mechanism for cross-border insolvency
Hong Kong and the Mainland have agreed a new co-operation mechanism for cross-border insolvency. Under the agreement, liquidators from Hong Kong may apply to Mainland courts for recognition of insolvency proceedings in Hong Kong ...
- Amendments to the HKSFC Code of Conduct
Following the conclusion of a two-month public consultation period, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced on 21 May 2012 amendments to the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by, or Registered with, the SFC (the Code), to both facilitate the establishment of the new...
- Hong Kong Data Privacy Law Update: Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Ordinance 2012
INTRODUCTION - The Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Ordinance 2012 (“Amendment Ordinance”) was formally adopted in July 2012. One of the most significant changes the Amendment Ordinance made to the existing Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (“PDPO”) is the tightening of...
- How To Trap a Tiger – Regulators’ Nets Tighten Around Tiger Asia on Both Sides of the Pacific
Government securities enforcement agencies in Hong Kong and the United States have been pursuing Tiger Asia Management and its affiliates for four years with claims of insider trading and market manipulation on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In Hong Kong, that pursuit has resulted in an important...
- Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission Consults Public on Proposed REIT Code Amendments
Recognizing the recurrent income generating product nature, the SFC may lift some restrictions on investment scope for Hong Kong listed REITs. On 27 January 2014, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) commenced a one-month consultation on proposed amendments to the...
- Groundbreaking Hong Kong Competition Ordinance Will Take Effect Next Year
Historically, Hong Kong has lacked a legal framework for regulating mergers or otherwise deterring conduct that is harmful to competition. The country’s traditional laissez-faire landscape was substantially altered in June 2012, when Hong Kong’s Legislative Council passed a sweeping new Competition ...
- Hong Kong Government to Extend Existing Offshore Funds Tax Exemption to Private Equity Funds
The Hong Kong government has announced in its latest budget a planned extension of the existing offshore funds tax exemption to bring offshore private equity funds investing in or through Hong Kong, within its scope. The scope of the amendment will not only bring private companies within the...
- Weighted Voting Rights In Hong Kong: Hopes Raised High But... – Part 2
In Part 1 of this eUpdate series, we discussed the reasons why Hong Kong regulators did not approve of share structures with disproportionate voting rights, also known as the “weighted voting rights structures” in Hong Kong or the “dual share class structures” in other markets, whether this could...
- What you need to know about Hong Kong Competition Law (Part 3) - The Second Conduct Rule
The implementation of the new Competition Ordinance (Chapter 619 of the Laws of Hong Kong) (the Competition Ordinance) on 14 December 2015 will mark the first time that Hong Kong has a general and cross-sector competition law....
- Hong Kong Regulatory Update - December 2015
This Hong Kong regulatory update provides 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 (HKEx) and their directors, management and advisers. The...
- Recognition and enforcement of a Mainland judgment in Hong Kong: First reported decision
Significance of the Decision - The Mainland Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance (“Mainland Judgments Ordinance”) allows recognition and enforcement of Mainland money judgments in Hong Kong by way of registration. A registered Mainland judgment has the same force as ...