Asset managers may soon have an alternative to unit trusts if they wish to set up open-ended investment funds in Hong Kong.
Legislators are reviewing rules that would allow open-ended fund companies to operate in Hong Kong for the first time. Unlike regular companies, these entities are able to vary share capital to meet investors’ subscriptions and redemptions.
We understand that the aim of the rules is to provide additional choices in terms of fund structures and to promote the use and structuring of fund product in Hong Kong, with the overall goal being to strengthen Hong Kong’s position as an international asset management centre.
Open-ended fund companies would need to register with the Securities and Futures Commission, Hong Kong’s financial regulator, and meet various requirements, such as appointing an independent custodian.
The recently published Securities and Futures (Amendment) Bill 2016 must pass through a Second and Third Reading before it is enacted into law.
We hope this doesn’t take as long to happen as the amendments to the Trustee Ordinance.
The vast majority of alternative fund product (open-ended and closed-ended) in Hong Kong or offered from Hong Kong by SFC licensed managers, has always been Cayman Islands domiciled fund structures. This is not expected to change any time soon, but mid-shore options such as these are most welcome and likely to find a home.