On 24 February 2021, the Finance Secretary Paul Chan delivered the 2021-22 Budget which highlighted upcoming government initiatives to promote the establishment of and re-domiciliation of offshore funds to Hong Kong using the Hong Kong open-ended fund company structure (OFC).
A subsidy of up to HK$1 million per OFC will be provided by the Hong Kong Government to cover 70% of expenses paid to local professional service providers for the set-up of an OFC in or to re-domicile an offshore fund to Hong Kong within the next three years. The SFC welcomed the government budget measures in a subsequent press release and is due to make further announcement on details of the proposal in due course.
The Hong Kong Government also reiterated its intention to introduce an amendment bill to provide tax concessions for carried interest issued by private equity funds operating in Hong Kong, with an aim to secure passage at the Legislative Council within the current session for such tax concessions to start to apply from 2020-21.
The recent developments announced in the 2021-22 Budget is a positive move to spearhead the development of Hong Kong as an international asset and wealth management centre and a predominant investment fund domicile locally.
As the market leader, Deacons advised on the majority of unlisted OFCs that have been registered with the SFC. We acted for Hong Kong’s first unlisted public OFC, as well as Hong Kong’s first umbrella private OFC. We also advised on over 60 private fund launches in 2020 covering a wide spread of asset classes and fund structures.