ASIC updates investor information on hybrid securities. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission posted updated information on its consumer finance website, MoneySmart, to help investors understand the risks and complexities of hybrid securities. MoneySmart explains the differences between hybrids issued by banks and hybrids offered by other companies and highlights the features and risks of these securities. (2/4/2014) ASIC press release. 

ASIC report on regulating complex products. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission published Report 384 “Regulating complex products” (REP 384). The report outlines the risks posed by complex products to retail investors, sets out ASIC’s recent and current work on complex products, including considering the whole of the product lifecycle - development, distribution, sale, and post-sale, and identifies opportunities for further work, including working with industry. Comments should be submitted by March 31, 2014. ASIC press release. 

ASIC report on relief applications. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission released its latest report outlining decisions on relief applications covering the period June 1, 2013, to September 30, 2013. The report summarizes examples of situations in which ASIC has exercised, or refused to exercise, its exemption and modification powers under the Corporations Act and the licensing and responsible lending provisions of the National Credit Act. The report also highlights instances in which ASIC has considered adopting a no-action position regarding specified non-compliance with statutory provisions. The report also provides examples of decisions that demonstrate how ASIC has applied its policy in practice. (1/28/2014) ASIC press release. 

Hong Kong proposes amendments to REIT Code. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission opened a one-month consultation on proposals to amend the Code on Real Estate Investment Trusts to introduce flexibility in the investment scope of real estate investment trusts. The proposals seek to introduce flexibility for REITs to invest in properties under development or engage in property development activities; and invest in financial instruments, including listed securities, unlisted debt securities, government and other public securities, and local or overseas property funds. Comments should be submitted by February 26, 2014. (1/27/2014) SFC press release. 

License applications for RQFII available. The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced that eligible financial institutions can submit applications for the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor license that will enable these institutions to offer RMB investment products and invest offshore RMB into China’s securities markets. The applications are to be made to the China Securities Regulatory Commission via approved custodian banks. All Singapore-incorporated financial institutions that are approved by MAS to conduct fund management activities may apply for the license. (1/24/2014) MSA press release.