Hong Kong’s SFC receives 2,060 license applications in Q3 2019

Maria Nikolova

The number of applications is 17.3% higher than in the preceding quarter but down 12.5% year-on-year.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has earlier today posted its report for the quarter to end-September 2019, with the document providing data on the licensing activity.

In the July-September 2019 period, the SFC received 2,060 license applications, up 17.3% from the preceding quarter and down 12.5% year-on-year. The number of corporate applications increased 10.6% from the preceding quarter to 73, but was down 14.1% year-on-year.

As at September 30, 2019, the number of licensees and registrants totalled 47,635, up 3.4% from last year, and the number of licensed corporations grew 7.2% to 3,048. Both were record highs.

The report is released one day after the SFC announced waiving of the annual licensing fees for the financial year of 2020/21.

The fee waiver applies to annual licensing fees payable by all licensed corporations, registered institutions, responsible officers and representatives. It does not apply to any other fees, such as licence application fees and transfer fees. The annual licensing fees payable before April 1, 2020 will not be affected by the waiver.

The decision aims to relieve the regulatory cost burden on the securities and futures industry having taken into account the current challenging market environment. The waiver of the fees will cost approximately $117.5 million in forgone revenue for the financial year 2020/21 in addition to the 50% waiver already announced earlier this year.

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