Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has signed an agreement with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) on Switzerland-Hong Kong Mutual Recognition of Funds and Asset Managers.

The memorandum of understanding will enable eligible Swiss and Hong Kong public funds to be distributed in each other’s market through a streamlined vetting process.

SFC said that the agreement will also build a framework for information exchange, regular dialogue and regulatory cooperation in relation to the cross-border offering of public funds.

SFC chairman Carlson Tong said: "This pioneering initiative, whereby home-grown Hong Kong funds – for the first time – gain direct access to the investing public in a European market, is a testament to Hong Kong’s commitment to develop the city into an international asset management centre.”

SFC CEO Ashley Alder said: "This mutual recognition of funds scheme will not only create new opportunities for the Swiss and Hong Kong asset management industries, but also provide investors in both markets with a broader selection of fund products.”

Swiss funds applying for SFC authorisation must be established, domiciled and managed in accordance with Swiss laws and regulations, as well as approved by FINMA as securities funds for public offering in Switzerland.

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While Hong Kong funds applying for FINMA approval must be SFC-authorised funds domiciled and managed in Hong Kong, as well as meet the FINMA Requirements for Hong Kong funds.