Investor ID plan unveiled for Stock Connect

China_and_Hong-Kong_flagsA plan to issue investor identification numbers for northbound trading in the Stock Connect scheme, which links Hong Kong and mainland China, has been revealed. The Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong said it had reached an agreement with the China Securities Regulatory Commission to implement the ID regime for northbound trading in the third quarter of 2018. The Hong Kong Investment Funds Association welcomed the plan, saying, in a statement, that it could “help reduce regulatory arbitrage and enhance regulatory efficiency”. The Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA), an industry group, said it hoped the scheme would issue ID numbers to fund managers rather than to individual funds. It said the legal entity identifier (LEI) system, a global scheme, could provide the template. “With respect to the ID, we propose the use of LEI in line with global harmonisation, which most foreign institutional investors should be using already in compliance with MiFID II,” said Mark Austen, chief executive of ASIFMA. The second version of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) is a wide-ranging piece of European regulation that aims to promote transparency in capital markets. ©2017 funds global asia

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