Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and France’s Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF) have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for mutual recognition of funds in each other’s markets.

Under the new agreement, the two regulators will use a simple authorisation process to support mutual distribution of Hong Kong public funds and French UCITS funds to retail investors. The products covered by the MoU include equity, bonds, currencies as well as mixed assets funds.

At the same time, the MoU will also facilitate regular dialogue and regulatory cooperation between the two watchdogs.

Commenting on the alliance with AMF, SFC CEO Ashley Alder said: “Promoting the development of Hong Kong’s asset management industry is one of our strategic objectives.

“This new cooperation framework is an important milestone for Hong Kong’s continuous development as an international asset management centre as it opens up the opportunity for Hong Kong funds to be sold in one of the leading markets in the European Union.”

AMF chairman Gerard Rameix added: “This newly established bridge between France and Hong Kong constitutes an important breakthrough for the French asset management industry seeking to develop activities internationally.

“It reflects the attractiveness of Paris as a financial centre and demonstrates that there is a demand from one of the leading markets in Asia for French asset management companies and products.”