Frequently asked questions

Q1 : Which companies or persons are required to be licensed by or registered with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)?

A: Companies or persons who are engaged in the business of dealing with or giving advice to the investing public regarding the securities, futures and non-bank retail leveraged foreign exchange markets in Hong Kong are required to be licensed by or registered with the SFC. Licensed individuals, corporations and registered institutions are obliged to comply with the local laws as well as the SFC’s rules and regulations. Regulated activities are set out in Schedule 5 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance. You can visit the SFC website on “Regulated activities” for details.

Q2 : How do I find out if my broker or account executive is licensed?


To verify the registration or licensing status of a broker or an account executive engaging in regulated securities, futures or leveraged foreign exchange activities in Hong Kong, please check the SFC’s Public Register of Licensed Persons and Registered Institutions.Details of SFC licensees and licensed corporations, including their licence records and public disciplinary actions, are included in the register.

To learn more about the regulation of brokers and their account executives, please refer to the “Brokers” section on the Investor and Financial Education Council website.

Q3 : Is trading of bullion or Loco London gold regulated by the SFC?

A: No. The SFC is mainly responsible for regulating the securities, futures and non-bank retail leveraged foreign exchange markets in Hong Kong. Spot precious metal trading is not regulated by the SFC.

Q4 : Where can I find information about SFC-authorised and registered investment products?


To understand different types and features of investment products (eg, stocks, exchange-traded funds, bonds), please go to the “Investment products” section on the Investor and Financial Education Council website.

For details of SFC-authorised and registered investment products, investors can browse the “List of Investment Products” on the SFC website. However, investors are reminded to contact the relevant product issuers or distributors to obtain the latest offering documents.

Q5 : Where can I find information on listed companies?


To access information on listed companies, please visit:

Information Links
Latest listed company information1 HKEXnews: "Latest listed company information"
Shareholding disclosures HKEXnews: "Disclosure of interests"
High concentration shareholding announcements SFC website: "High concentration shareholding announcements
Prolonged suspension status HKEXnews: "Exchange Reports > Prolonged suspension status report" - Main Board/GEM (PDF format)
Websites of listed companies HKEXnews: "Other useful information > Hyperlinks to listed companies" (excel format)

1 These include annual and interim reports, financial statements, announcements, etc.

Q6 : What is the difference between trading halt and suspension? When can trading resume?


A trading halt is used to allow material information to be adequately disseminated during trading hours and to allow adequate time for the public to evaluate that information. A listed company may request a trading halt if the price sensitive information announcement is ready for publication within a certain period of time. If a trading halt exceeds a prescribed period, it will become a trading suspension.

Trading suspension may also be initiated by The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK) or the SFC to address potential and actual market disorder and to protect the interests of investors.

Contrary to a trading halt, there is no time limit for a suspension on individual circumstances. Trading normally resumes after the listed company publishes inside information or other material developments, or fulfils certain resumption conditions imposed by the SEHK.

Investors are advised to keep track of company announcements which are posted on the HKEXnews website or the official websites of listed companies. For suspension of three months or more, check out the status of companies in HKEX’s1 “Prolonged suspension status report”.

1 Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited

Q7 : Is short-selling illegal in Hong Kong?


Short-selling restrictions are in place in Hong Kong to limit activities that may affect market order or stability.

Only covered short-selling for certain designated securities, as prescribed by the SEHK, is allowed. “Naked” short-selling is prohibited, which means short-sellers need to arrange to borrow stocks before they execute short sales. Furthermore, short-selling may only be executed on the SEHK’s trading system at or above the current best ask price. When placing short-selling orders, clients are required to provide documentary confirmation that the sale is shorted and covered. Breaches of the above statutory requirements may result in criminal prosecution.

Please refer to the “Regulated Short Selling” section on HKEX’s1 website for more information.

1 Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited

Last update: 29 Sep 2020

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