A former British colony, Hong Kong is one of the top five leading financial centers around the world. It has the world’s highest concentration of banking institutions with more than 70 of the world’s largest banks having a presence in the territory. It also plays host to hundreds of fund management companies hence earning Hong Kong the title of having the largest concentration of fund managers in this part of the world. For over a hundred years, Hong Kong was the gateway to Mainland China and this has helped Hong Kong become China’s largest trading partner.
Hong Kong has a one of the highest living standards in the region. The high quality of life, strong and transparent legal system coupled with a favorable investment infrastructure has made this city a top destination for expats. The low tax regime and favorable tax treatment of foreign source income that is remitted to Hong Kong has helped to contribute to the popularity of online binary options trading in Hong Kong. Traders who make a profit trading binaries in the overseas market do not have to pay taxes on the gains that they make. Nevertheless, questions remain as to whether binary options trading in Hong Kong is legal. To understand more about the legality of binary options trading in Hong Kong, let us look more closely at the roles that the Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission plays (SFC) play in regulating the financial industry in Hong Kong.
Best Brokers in Hong Kong
As mentioned earlier, there is a lack of binary brokers that are based in Hong Kong. To overcome this hurdle, a trader can instead look for a regulated firm that is based offshore. To help traders find a reliable and regulated broker to work with, we have compiled a list below of those operators that are regulated and have earned a good reputation for reliability.
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While there are several regulatory agencies in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority that are responsible for regulating the financial industry in Hong Kong, the main body that is tasked with regulating the securities and futures markets in the territory is the Securities and Futures Commission. Established in 1989 after the market crash of October 1987, the SFC was tasked to ensure the stability and integrity of the securities and futures markets. It is also responsible for protecting investors and the promotion of Hong Kong as a leading financial center. While technically the SFC is a branch of the Hong Kong Government, it operates independently under a comprehensive Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO). Primarily, its area of responsibilities include:
- Supervision of market operators such as clearing houses and exchanges
- Coming up with regulations and enforcing the regulations
- Licensing and supervisions of market participants such as brokers and fund managers
- Overseeing market activities such as mergers and takeovers
- Vetting of prospectus of financial instruments offered for sale to the public
- Educating investors of their risks trading the markets
However despite the close scrutiny that the SFC has over the Hong Kong financial markets, it does not have any legal framework for overseeing binary trading in Hong Kong. Normally before any financial services provider can operate out of Hong Kong, it must first be authorized and licensed by the SFC. However the problem faced by the SFC is the same as that which most financial regulatory bodies are encountering when trying to license binary options trading in their country. This trading type being a relatively new market innovation suffers from a lack of clarity with its legal definition and this means that regulators are having a hard trying to decide if binaries fall under gaming or under financial investments.
As such, there are essentially no licenses dedicated binary brokers in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, there are no laws preventing Hong Kong’s investors from trading binary options with brokers that are based outside of Hong Kong. Although the SFC discourages Hong Kong residents for dealing with offshore brokerage firms, traders in Hong Kong are still free to sign up with any binary company that they want. However, it is highly recommended that traders who want to sign up with offshore brokers do so with companies that are regulated by competent regulatory agencies such as the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC).
Deposit Methods Available in Hong Kong
As one of the top 5 financial centers around the world, Hong Kong is able to offers traders in the territory a wide variety of payment methods which they can use to deposit funds into their trading account with an offshore broker. Bank wire transfers, credit cards and eWallets like Neteller and PayPal can all be used to fund a binary options trading account.
- Is it legal to trade binaries in Hong Kong?
Yes. Binary option trading in Hong Kong is legal provided the broker is an offshore broker and does not claim to a broker that is based in Hong Kong.
- Are binaries regulated in Hong Kong?
No, it is unregulated largely due to the lack of a legal framework governing the trading of this trading type.
- How to trade binaries in Hong Kong?
In order to trade binary options in Hong Kong, you must first open an account with a broker. Since there is no licensed brokerage firm in the territory, the next best thing to do is to sign up with one that is regulated outside the country.