FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong regulators pacify fears after US sanctions

"Unilateral sactions" has no legal status in the city, the HKMA said.

Hong Kong financial regulators rushed to calm market fears as global financial firms considered cutting ties with local clients after the US handed sanctions against senior officials, reports Reuters.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said in a circular that “unilateral sanctions” had no legal status in the city, and unlike United Nations sanctions, banks were under no obligation to comply with them.

For their part, the Securities and Futures Commission “is not aware of any aspect of the (law) or the US sanctions ... that would affect the way in which firms carry on their normal operations in Hong Kong”, said a spokesperson.

US and non US-banks are currently assessing what action to take amidst fears of getting caught in the crosshairs of the tensions. Banks in Hong Kong will now “forensically examine the networks of the people named on the sanctions lists and see if there are any banking relationships which would put the banks at risk,” a source said.

Here’s more from Reuters.

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