Futu’s Future on Hold

Futu’s Future on Hold

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  • China’s securities regulator said two Nasdaq-listed online brokers violated its domestic laws by allowing customers on the mainland to make cross-border trades, stoking concerns that Chinese authorities aren’t finished with their crackdowns on private-sector companies. The American depositary receipts of Up Fintech, which is also known as Tiger Brokers, fell 29% Friday in New York trading, and Futu Holdings fell 31% after the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) put out a statement that mentioned both companies.
  • Futu and UP Fintech Hong Kong have conducted cross-border securities businesses involving domestic investors without regulatory consent, contravening Chinese laws, the CSRC said in a statement. The CSRC will ask the brokerages to take corrective measures, such as to stop soliciting new business from mainland investors, the watchdog said.
  • Up Fintech and Futu operate popular retail-trading apps that are similar to that of Robinhood Markets Inc, and are used by individuals in Asia to trade stocks and options listed on major exchanges in the U.S., Hong Kong and other markets. Futu counts Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. as a strategic investor.

Why it matters

Even though China has strict capital controls, Chinese nationals can open bank accounts in Hong Kong and move up to $50,000 each year offshore. They have also been able to set up brokerage accounts in the city to buy and sell overseas stocks. The CSRC said the online brokers’ act of offering offshore securities-trading services to clients in mainland China doesn’t comply with the country’s laws and regulations.

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