ASIC launches financial adviser register. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) launched the first stage of the new Financial Advisers Register. Now available to search on ASIC’s MoneySmart website, the register contains details of persons employed or authorized by Australian financial services licensees to provide personal financial advice to retail clients on investments, superannuation and life insurance. (3/31/2015) ASIC press release. 

Hong Kong hedge fund assets reach record high. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published the “Report of the Survey on Hedge Fund Activities of SFC-licensed Managers/Advisers.” Among other things, the report found that Hong Kong hedge fund assets under management reached a record high in 2014. (3/30/2015) SFC press release. 

Singapore savings bonds. The Monetary Authority of Singapore provided more information on the features of Singapore Savings Bonds. (3/30/2015) MAS press release. 

US CFTC allows Hong Kong brokers to deal directly with US customers. The SFC announced that the US CFTC will permit SFC-licensed corporations to deal directly with US customers in relation to trading of futures or options products on exchanges under the SFC’s oversight without having to register as futures brokers in the US. The exchanges covered by the order include Hong Kong Futures Exchange Limited and non-US exchanges authorized by the SFC under the Securities and Futures Ordinance. Licensed corporations interested in exemption under the order which permits them to solicit and accept orders and funds directly from US customers are required to submit applications with the US National Futures Association via the SFC. Details of the application procedures will be announced in due course. (3/26/2015) SFC press release. See also CFTC press release

ASIC reports on cyber resilience. The ASIC published Report 429, “Cyber resilience: Health Check (REP 429)” to help regulated entities improve their cyber resilience. (3/19/2015) ASIC press release. 

ASIC behavioral economics studies. The ASIC released two reports on behavioral economics research experiments conducted as part of its efforts to better understand market and consumer behavior. The behavioral experiments were commissioned to explore possible behavioral “biases” affecting consumer decisions about investing in hybrid securities rather than bonds or shares, and to determine how to improve ASIC’s communication with directors of firms in liquidation to increase their compliance with the law. (3/18/2015) ASIC press release.