The waiver will take effect on 1 April, and help in minimising the cost burdens facing the securities and futures industry, the Securities & Futures Commission said in a statement on its website.
It will apply to all licensed corporations, registered institutions, responsible officers and representatives, the SFC said. The fees payable in connection with new license applications and transfers will not be affected, the regulator added.
The SFC had previously waived the annual licensing fees from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010, and again from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2014.
“Market participants have been operating in a stressed environment, amid uncertainty over the global economy,” Ashley Alder, SFC chief executive, said. “We hope that the two-year fee waiver will help relieve the cost pressures facing the securities and futures industry.”
The waiver of the annual licensing fee by the SFC is the latest effort by the regulator to help Hong Kong’s capital markets.
At the end of last year it said it would reduce the time for the application process to six months from 12, in order to “further enhance the authorisation process”.
It has also evolved a regulatory framework for introducing an open-ended fund company structure in the country, and a consultation on this is expected to begin soon. This development is seen as likely to result in the setting up of many new fund companies there.