Hong Kong SFC Sanctions Licensee and CCO for Compliance Failures Associated With Short Sale Violations

From February 2017 through July 2019, a Hong Kong-based entity licensed to engage in asset management regulated activities failed to provide more than 150 regulatory and public notices of short positions achieved through equity swaps referencing a U.K. public company, in violation of the E.U. short selling regulation. After resolving an enforcement proceeding by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, the entity was the subject of disciplinary action by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), which cited it for having inadequate compliance procedures and internal controls, as well as failing to provide immediate notice to the SFC of its violation of the E.U. regulation. The SFC also held its CCO accountable for those failures. This article details the SFC’s follow-on disciplinary proceeding; the alleged violations of the SFC’s Code of Conduct; and the sanctions imposed. For discussion of the U.K. action, see “FCA Resolves First Enforcement Action Under E.U. Short Sale Disclosure Rules” (Nov. 5, 2020).

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