The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) and the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 10 July 2017 to enhance cooperation in relation to (i) certain “Covered Funds”, being French-domiciled UCITS funds and Hong Kong-domiciled collective investment schemes, offered, marketed and distributed on a cross-border basis to the public in Hong Kong or retail investors in France respectively, and (ii) “Covered Management Companies”, being management companies of collective investment schemes, based in Hong Kong or France and licensed by the SFC or authorised by the AMF respectively. In light of increasing cross-border asset management activities, the conclusion of the MoU seeks to promote reciprocal market access for fund providers by facilitating cross-border offering, marketing and distribution of certain funds between the two jurisdictions. The MoU is the first agreement between Hong Kong and a member of the European Union which establishes the regulatory framework for distribution of eligible Hong Kong and French funds. It is expected that SFC authorisation for Covered Funds will be quicker than the processing time for applications under the previous mutual recognition of funds arrangements entered into by the SFC.
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