Last week, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) of France on mutual recognition of funds (MRF) between Hong Kong and France.

The MOU allows eligible Hong Kong funds and French UCITS funds to be distributed to retail investors in France and the public in Hong Kong respectively, through a streamlined authorisation process. The types of funds currently covered are equity funds, bond funds and mixed funds.

The MOU also stipulates a mechanism for regular dialogue and regulatory cooperation between the SFC and the AMF. Cooperation includes, amongst other things, consultation, exchange of information, cross-border supervisory on-site visits of covered management companies and matters of mutual supervisory interest, such as regulatory developments. However, the MOU states that this does not include enforcement actions which are covered by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions' Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information.

This is the first such arrangement between Hong Kong and a member of the European Union, and is part of Hong Kong's continuous development as an international asset management centre. The SFC entered into MRF arrangements with the Financial Market Supervisory Authority of Switzerland late last year and the China Securities Regulatory Commission in 2015.

Please see our recent bulletin for further details.