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Government welcomes FSDC's first batch of six research reports

     The Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) submitted the first batch of six research reports to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)Government, and released the reports today (November 18) to the general public.

     A spokesman for the Government said that the first batch of six research reports covers many areas in an extensive manner. The HKSAR Government expressed appreciation to the FSDC and its five committees for completing the first batch of reports within a few months' time, demonstrating the FSDC's role as a cross-sector platform to engage financial experts and cultivate ideas.

     The Government announced in the Budget in February the introduction of open-ended investment companies (OEIC) and extension of the offshore tax exemption regime to private equity funds. The FSDC's reports provide various legal and regulatory recommendations on the OEIC as well as technical suggestions on offshore private equity tax exemption. The FSDC exchanged ideas on these recommendations with the Government and related regulators when it was conducting research for the reports. This will be useful for the Government in formulating concrete arrangements for implementation in future.

     Regarding the development of Hong Kong's offshore Renminbi market, the HKSAR Government has been in discussion with relevant Mainland authorities and has made good progress on a number of issues, including the daily exchange limit of Renminbi for each Hong Kong resident, developing a Renminbi asset management hub and promoting Hong Kong's offshore Renminbi business platform globally. The spokesman noted that proposals in the FSDC's reports are in line with the on-going work and agenda of the Government.

     We welcome the industry's proposals on developing the real estate investment trusts (REITs) market. The Securities and Futures Commission is also studying in depth the proposed amendments to the Code on Real Estate Investment Trusts, so as to facilitate development of investment products in the market. On the report's suggestion of allowing REITs to enjoy certain tax exemptions, the Government is of the view that careful consideration regarding the effects on the current tax system is warranted.

     The spokesman continued that the report, titled "Strengthening Hong Kong as a Leading Global International Financial Centre"Ħħ, elaborates on the contribution of the finance industry to Hong Kong's economy as well as the industry's competitive edges and factors for sustainable development. The Government will study in detail the industry's concerns on future development stated in the report.

Ends/Monday, November 18, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:36


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