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为提振金融科技行业 香港委员会提出众筹鼓励方案

近日,香港金融服务发展委员会列提出了一系列鼓励股权众筹的方案。在一份关于股权众筹监管体系的政府报告中,有关方面提出要修改当前监管规则的建议,希望在保护投资者的同时,为不断发展的金融科技行业提供发展空间。

香港金融服务发展委员会(FSDC)周五发布了一份介绍股权众筹监管框架的报告。报告研究了香港当前的监管规则以及相关领域的国际经验。

报告中给出了多种政策建议,从维持现状,到修改现有法律,再到为众筹平台颁发许可证或者仅允许专业人士投资。

委员会主席Laura Cha Shih May-lung表示:“股权众筹是金融科技发展的重要领域,不仅会为金融业带来全新发展,更是一种社会参与的全新形式。FSDC相信应当创立恰当的渠道,促进行业监管发展。”

股权众筹是指允许社会公众购买创业企业发行的股份,支持其建立公司的模式。众筹与P2P借款均需遵守《证券与期货条例》(SFO)以及《公司(清盘及杂项条文)条例》。在《证券与期货条例》中,对要约公众购买权益或债务工具以及加入共同投资计划是有限制的。

金融科技创业公司已经感受到了香港政府不断加强的支持,但批评者表示这些支持还没有转化为有利的行业监管规则,而海外的类似规则已经实施。

12月,美国公布了新的众筹监管规则,允许公司在12个月内筹集最高100万美元。

美国的监管规则同时也限制了每个投资人可以投资的最大金额,这一上限是基于投资人的收入决定的。法律限制每个投资者在12个月内最多可以通过众筹投资100万美元。

报告同时警告称,修改现行《证券与期货条例》以适应众筹的过程需要缓慢推进,因此也提出了可以在现存法律框架下进行的方案。

这些方案包括就通过限制招股书的信息披露内容等同于上市公司年会,调整向投资者提供招股书的要求。与美国监管规则一致,该报告也提出了限制公司融资额与投资人投资额上限的可能性。

Financial Services Development Council lists out options for encouraging equity crowdfunding. A government report on the regulatory system for equity crowdfunding has set out suggestions to adjust current regulations to allow room for the growing financial technology (fintech) sector, while at the same time protecting investors.

The Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) on Friday released a report on introducing a regulatory framework for equity crowdfunding. It examined the city’s current rules and international approaches to the subject.

Its suggestions ranged from maintaining the status quo to tweaking existing laws to licence crowdfunding platforms or allowing only professionals to invest.

“Equity crowdfunding is a major area of fintech activities, one which not only breaks new ground in financing, but is also an innovative kind of community participation,” said council chairwoman Laura Cha Shih May-lung. “The FSDC believes an appropriate avenue should be created to allow and regulate it.”

Equity crowdfunding refers to allowing the public to buy shares issued by a start-up to help establish a business.

Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending fall under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) and the Companies (Winding Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance.

Under the SFO, there are restrictions on inviting the public to purchase shares or debt instruments or to join collective investment schemes.

Fintech start-ups have seen growing government support in Hong Kong, but critics say this has not transferred into favourable regulations for the sector as have been implemented overseas.

In November, new regulations for crowdfunding were announced in the United States allowing companies to raise up to US$1 million in a 12-month period.

The US regulations also set caps on the amount individuals can invest based on their income. Investors are limited to investing a maximum of US$100,000 through crowdfunding in a 12-month period.

The report warned that changes to existing SFO regulations to accommodate crowdfunding could be slow, so it also proposed ideas that could be carried out under the existing legal framework.

These include adjusting the requirements on providing investors with a prospectus by limiting the information required to the equivalent of what would be available at a public company’s annual general meeting.

In line with US regulations, the report mooted the option of placing caps on how much companies can raise as well as the amount individuals can invest.


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