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SFC: Possible delays in product applications

The Securities and Futures Commission said it will try to provide services as usual but there may be some delays in regulatory matters.

“The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will still do its utmost to continue to provide all of its public services as usual. However, it is possible that response times in some areas may be longer than normal,” according to a statement from the regulator.

“This may affect, for example, some licensing applications, some product applications, and our public complaints and enquiry service,” the statement added.

Moreover, the regulator also noted that it appreciates that some licensed corporations and applicants may experience operational difficulties during this period.

“Licensed corporations and applicants as well as market participants are generally expected to make all reasonable efforts to maintain ‘business as usual’ in relation to their regulatory obligations and all regulatory filing, reporting and other deadlines.

“However, if any of them do encounter specific difficulties arising from the coronavirus situation, they are encouraged to communicate promptly with their usual contact points at the SFC,” the statement noted.

The SFC also said that it has reconfigured its staffing arrangements to limit coronavirus infection risks and these arrangements will involve some staff working from home or remotely.

Events cancelled

At the same time, media reported that Zurich-based Credit Suisse canceled its annual Asia investment conference planned for next month, due to concern over the coronavirus.

Some asset mangers and wealth managers are also canceling events, Allianz Global Investors, China Asset Management and Deutsche Bank Wealth Management among them.

Furthermore, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) received reports from banks last Friday saying that they will close some of their branches or shorten operating hours temporarily.

According to the information provided, around 20-30% of bank branches are expected to be closed temporarily and some of the remaining branches will be open for restricted hours, FSA previously reported.

The virus has 28,018 confirmed cases in mainland China to date and 563 people have died, according to the latest report from China’s National Health Commission.

In Hong Kong, there are 21 confirmed cases including one dead, Macau has ten and Taiwan has 11, the report added.

Officials in Macau, the world’s main gambling centre, made an unprecedented decision on Tuesday asking the casinos to shut down for half a month, according to a government statement.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.