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- New Era Dawns for Hong Kong’s Virtual Assets Sector
The regulatory perimeter continues to expand as the Securities and Futures Commission introduces a comprehensive regime to regulate virtual asset service providers. This Client Alert reviews key obligations and requirements which the new regime will impose on virtual asset trading platforms (VATPs). The Client Alert also discusses next steps for those considering to apply for a licence and assesses the current virtual asset legal and regulatory framework in Hong Kong. Please see full Alert below for more information.
- Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Rules on Exclusive Jurisdiction Clauses in Insolvency
A bankruptcy petition should not proceed if the debt is disputed and subject to an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of a foreign court. The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (CFA) has ruled that if a bankruptcy petition is disputed and the disputed debt arises from an agreement containing an exclusive jurisdiction clause (EJC) in favour of a foreign court, the dispute should be resolved in accordance with that EJC. In particular, the Hong Kong courts should decline jurisdiction in a bankruptcy (and by extension, a winding-up) petition pending resolution of the dispute in a foreign court, absent countervailing factors such as the risk of the debtor’s insolvency affecting other parties, the debtor’s reliance on a frivolous defence, or an abuse of process. Please see full Alert below for more information.
- Bankruptcy Petition vs Exclusive Jurisdiction Clause
Who has the last word? The effect of an exclusive jurisdiction clause on insolvency proceedings - On 4 May 2023, the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) handed down its much-awaited judgment in Re Guy Kwok Hung Lam  HKCFA 9. This decision is significant. It clarifies the proper approach in deciding whether to dismiss or stay a creditor’s bankruptcy petition before Hong Kong courts, where the underlying petition debt arises from an agreement containing an exclusive jurisdiction clause (EJC) in favour of a foreign court. In this article, our insolvency, litigation and arbitration specialists consider the practical implications of this decision. Please see full Publication below for more information.
- Hong Kong Court Confirms the Proprietary Nature of Cryptocurrencies but Denies Clients’ Proprietary Claims
This is the first decision by the Hong Kong Court on whether clients of a crypto exchange have proprietary claims to cryptocurrencies held on the platform. It confirms that cryptocurrency constitutes property under Hong Kong law. Key Points: • Cryptocurrency constitutes property under Hong Kong law and can therefore form the subject matter of a trust. • Whether cryptocurrencies stored on cryptocurrency exchanges are held on trust for their customers will depend on the construction of the contractual terms and conditions governing relationships between the cryptocurrency exchange platform and its customers. The court will also assess the operational reality of the exchange, including how assets are actually maintained and applied by the exchange. • Crypto owners and users should ensure that they understand the effect of the terms and conditions of the cryptocurrency exchange and carefully scrutinise any proposed updates to such terms before accepting them. Please see full Alert below for more information.
- Report on Hong Kong-Listed Biotech Companies - April 2023
点击此处阅读调查报告全文 Our third annual report on Hong Kong-listed biotech companies examines how the sector performed during the challenging conditions for capital markets globally over the past 12 months. Although aggregate listing and subsequent fundraising activity for biotech firms in Hong Kong decreased over the past year, Hong Kong continues to serve a thriving biotech ecosystem and is well positioned to attract further companies to list as global market conditions recover. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the market in its current state, examining key data points for biotech companies undertaking IPOs on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (HKEX) in calendar year 2022 and analyzing the corporate governance practices of all 56 biotech companies listed on HKEX as of December 31, 2022. Please see full Report below for more information.
- Hong Kong Corporate & Regulatory Insights – April 2023
The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK) announced new chapter on Listing Rules The SEHK announced on 24 March 2023 the expansion of Hong Kong's listing framework for the listings of Specialist Technology Companies where a new chapter will be added to the Main Board Listing Rules (Listing Rules) starting from 31 March 2023. Following a two-month consultation period, the SEHK received 90 responses on its proposal to amend the Listing Rules to enable the listing of Specialist Technology Companies, the key updates on rules to be implemented on 31 March 2023 are as follows... Please see full Publication below for more information.
- Hong Kong Court Sets Aside Arbitral Awards Under Exceptional Circumstances
Two recent decisions illustrate what constitutes exceptional circumstances justifying the rare intervention of Hong Kong courts in arbitration matters. Hong Kong is internationally renowned as a pro-arbitration jurisdiction where the courts’ approach is to permit enforcement of arbitral awards save in exceptional circumstances. Two recent decisions of the Hong Kong Court of First Instance, both with “unusual” facts, illustrate the extent to which Hong Kong courts are prepared to set aside an arbitral award or refuse to enforce if the requisite high thresholds are established. Specifically, the Court of First Instance concluded that the award in the first case was made beyond the arbitrator’s jurisdiction, and that the arbitrator’s error in the second case was so serious that it amounted to a denial of due process. Please see full Alert below for more information.
- Launch of HKSE’s New Listing Regime for Specialist Technology Companies
From 31 March 2023, the listing framework will include innovative companies in frontier industries, creating more opportunities for investors in the Hong Kong capital market. The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the SEHK) has issued the consultation conclusions on the listing regime for Specialist Technology Companies (the Consultation Conclusions), which will include a new Chapter 18C within the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on the Exchange (the Listing Rules), effective from 31 March 2023. The change will enable innovative and progressive companies (both commercial and pre-commercial) in five frontier industries (next-generation information technology, advanced hardware, advanced materials, new energy and environmental protection, and new food and agriculture technologies) to be listed on the SEHK, further diversifying Hong Kong’s capital market with broadened opportunities for investors. Please see full Alert below for more information.
- Regulatory Roadmap for a Bold and Adventurous Year of the Rabbit
In this Year of the Rabbit, we believe that financial institutions will need to be vigilant, quick-minded, and ingenious – all characteristics long associated with people born in the Year of the Rabbit. Following on from some of the regulatory challenges that emerged in the Year of the Tiger, we think that the Year of the Rabbit will be one that calls for a bold and adventurous spirit, tempered by the exercise of due caution. Please see Publication below for more information.
- Hong Kong Proposes Amendments to Listing Rules Following Mainland China Regulation Updates
The proposed amendments reflect changes in PRC regulations recently announced by the State Council and the CSRC. On 24 February 2023, The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Stock Exchange) published a Consultation Paper on Amendments to the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the Listing Rules) Following Mainland China Regulation Updates and Other Proposed Rule Amendments Relating to PRC Issuers (the Consultation Paper). Please see full Alert below for more information.
- HKEx Streamlines Rules Governing the Listing of Debt Securities Offered to Professional Investors
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (“HKEx”) has recently issued its Consultation Conclusions on the Proposed Changes to Requirements for the Listing of Debt Issues for Professionals Investors Only, which amends the rules for listing debt securities (including convertible bonds) offered to...
- Hong Kong Capital Markets Quarterly News -- July 2012
In This Issue: SFC Notes Poor Quality Listing Applications; Regulation of Sponsors in Hong Kong; Class Action Reform; New Listing Decisions; New Guidance Letters; Enforcement News; and Regulatory Watch. Excerpt from SFC Notes Poor Quality Listing Applications In July 2012, the...
- RMB Bond Issue in Hong Kong (a.k.a. A Delicious Dim Sum Offering!) - Part 2
A growing number of foreign and Chinese companies are accessing the renminbi (“RMB”) bond market to fund projects, enhance liquidity and improve their working capital in China. These companies can raise capital while avoiding time-consuming IPOs, rights issuances and secondary offerings. It also...
- Better, Faster, Cheaper: Revised Arbitration Rules in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) Administered Arbitration Rules 2013 align the jurisdiction with international best practices. The HKIAC has updated its popular rules for administered arbitration. The 2013 Rules, which come into force on 1 November 2013, address...
- The Future of Trust IPOs in Asia
With developed and active real estate investment trust (REIT) markets and expanding business trust (BT) markets, trust IPOs have earned themselves a solid place in the Asian financial marketplace. “Trust IPOs are no longer a trend in Asia,” said Sharon Lau, a partner in Latham & Watkins’ Singapore...
- Draft Hong Kong Competition Guidelines Released for Public Comment
Industry has an opportunity to comment on the Competition Commission’s proposed Guidelines on how it intends to interpret and enforce the conduct rules in Hong Kong’s Competition Ordinance. Introduction - Hong Kong’s Competition Ordinance (Chapter 619 of the Laws of Hong Kong) (the...
- QFIIs/RQFIIs - Implications of Retrospective Capital Gains Tax
At a compliance seminar held last month, officials from the Asset Management Association of China (AMAC) and the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) informed industry executives that Chinese regulators are planning to retrospectively implement a 10% capital gains tax (CGT) on equity investments...
- 3 Tips for Taking Depositions in Hong Kong
It’s likely that coordinating international depositions can take extra planning and will usually cost significantly more than taking depositions in the U.S. Here are several tried-and-tested tips for saving money for your client when taking depositions in Hong Kong....
- What you need to know about Hong Kong Competition Law (Part 4) - The Merger Rule and the Telco 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 had a general and cross-sector competition law....
- "Acquisitions of Controlling Interests in Hong Kong-Listed Companies Through Primary Issuances"
Acquisitions that result in a change of control of a Hong Kong-listed company — defined as 30 percent or more of the voting power — trigger a mandatory general offer to all shareholders of the company. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will typically waive the general offer...