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SFC halts operations of HK asset manager

The SFC has issued a restriction notice against an asset management firm.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said it has issued a restriction notice on Agg Asset Management because of doubts over Agg’s reliability, integrity, and ability to carry on regulated activities competently, honestly and fairly, and hence, its fitness and properness to remain licensed.

The regulator did not provide the reasons for its assessment of Agg and only issued its standard template language that the action “is desirable in the interest of the investing public and in the public interest”.

The restriction notice effectively halts business operations. It prohibits Agg AM, without prior written consent from the SFC, “from carrying out any business, whether directly or through agents, which constitutes regulated activities for which it is licensed under the securities and futures ordinance until further notice”.

In 2017, the Hong Kong-based firm was granted three licenses by the SFC, including dealing in securities (type 1), advising on securities (type 4), and asset management (type 9), SFC records show.

According to SFC records, only a few asset management firms (type 9 licence) in the last five years have been subject to a restriction notice.

The SFC has issued multiple restriction notices (40 of them in 2019), but they were all slapped on brokerages.

Agg Asset Management was established by Thomas Ng in 2017. Previously, he served as a director of China Yinsheng Asset Management, according to industry reports.

The firm’s website has been taken offline.

Part of the Bonhill Group.