Hong Kong waives license fees for two years. Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission announced that the payment of annual licensing fees will be waived for another two-year period. This initiative, effective from April 1, 2014, will benefit more than 39,000 intermediaries, including licensed corporations, registered institutions and responsible officers and representatives. The fees payable in connection with new license applications and transfers will not be affected. (3/17/2014) SFC press release. 

ASIC information sheet on audit quality. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission released information to help directors and audit committees develop robust standards. “Information Sheet 196 Audit quality: The role of directors and audit committees” discusses audit quality, responsibilities of the auditor, roles of directors and audit committees, responsibilities of directors for auditor independence, the appointment of auditors, setting audit fees and promoting audit quality. (3/17/2014) ASIC press release. 

Singapore proposes regulations for unlisted margined derivatives. The Monetary Authority of Singapore published draft regulations for the offer of unlisted margined derivatives, such as contracts for differences and leveraged foreign exchange products, to retail investors. Comments should be submitted by April 14, 2014. (3/14/2014)

Singapore to regulate virtual currency intermediaries. The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced that it will regulate virtual currency intermediaries in Singapore to address potential money laundering and terrorist financing risks. (3/13/2014) MAS press release. 

Japan and US regulators sign cooperation agreement. Japan’s Financial Services Agency and the US CFTC signed a memorandum of cooperation for the exchange of information in the supervision and oversight of regulated entities that operate on a cross-border basis in both Japan and the US. FSA press release. 

ASIC discussion paper on managed investment schemes. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee released a discussion paper on managed investment schemes. The paper deals primarily with the establishment and ongoing operation of such schemes and raises a broad range of governance, disclosure and regulatory issues. (3/6/2014) ASIC press release.