Hong Kong and UAE central banks collab on crypto rules, fintech development

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The central banks of Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have expressed their intention to collaborate on cryptocurrency regulations and the development of financial technology. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced on May 30 that it had met with the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), with both institutions agreeing to enhance cooperation in the areas of “virtual asset regulations and developments.”

In addition, the two central banks have committed to facilitating discussions on joint fintech initiatives and sharing knowledge through their respective innovation hubs. They also discussed the importance of financial infrastructure and market connectivity between their jurisdictions.

H.E. Khaled Mohamed Balama, the Governor of the CBUAE, expressed his expectation that the relationship with the HKMA will be ongoing and long-term. Following the meeting, a seminar was held for senior executives from banks in Hong Kong and the UAE. The seminar covered various topics, including ways to enhance cross-border trade settlement and how UAE corporations can leverage Hong Kong’s financial infrastructure platforms to access Asian and mainland markets.

This collaboration comes at a time when the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has announced that virtual asset service providers (VASPs) will be allowed to cater to retail investors in Hong Kong starting from June 1. Hong Kong’s treasury chief, Christopher Hui, recently stated that the city has embraced the trading of cryptocurrencies by retail investors under its new regulatory framework because “virtual assets are going to stay.” Hui emphasized the benefits of cryptocurrencies, asserting that their advantages outweigh the associated risks. He stressed the importance of regulating these activities to harness their positive elements.

Since the SFC unveiled the application process, several cryptocurrency exchanges, including CoinEx, Huobi, and OKX, have submitted applications for dedicated Hong Kong crypto trading services.

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