The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) today published its Annual Report 2017-18 which summarises and provides key statistics on its work during the year and details its ongoing initiatives to promote healthy, sustainable market development.

“As markets become increasingly complex and interconnected, it is crucial that we press ahead with initiatives to advance Hong Kong’s position as an international financial centre whilst ensuring investor protection,” said Mr Carlson Tong, the SFC’s Chairman. “We remain squarely focussed on upholding fair and orderly markets to foster investor confidence.”

“We are moving forward with our front-loaded regulatory approach to tackle market misconduct and other irregularities with earlier and more targeted intervention,” added Mr Ashley Alder, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer. “This allows us to get ahead of threats to market integrity, safety and quality, whilst also focusing our enforcement efforts on areas posing the greatest risks to investors and our markets.”

Highlights of the year included the full implementation of the Manager-In-Charge regime which heightens licensed firms’ senior management accountability. New guidelines provided guidance on the design and operation of online platforms and set out cybersecurity baseline requirements to address the hacking risks of internet trading.

Advancing regulatory collaboration, the SFC worked with the China Securities Regulatory Commission to expand mutual market access and with the Independent Commission Against Corruption to conduct joint searches and investigations. It also fostered Hong Kong’s participation in international standard setting through its chairmanship of the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

Key statistics featured in the report include the following:

  • The number of licensees and registrants increased to 44,358 while the number of licensed corporations rose to 2,702 – both record highs
  • It authorised 134 collective investment schemes and 114 unlisted structured products for public offering
  • It reviewed 309 listing applications and supervised 401 takeovers-related transactions and applications
  • It conducted 301 on-site inspections of intermediaries
  • It approved 12 applications from overseas regulated exchanges and electronic trading facilities to provide automated trading services
  • It made 8,461 requests for trading and account records from intermediaries as a result of market surveillance
  • It took disciplinary action against 31 licensed corporations and individuals with total fines amounting to $483 million

The Annual Report is available on the SFC’s website.