Hong Kong’s financial regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), has today updated its Alert List which comprises the names of unlicensed businesses in Hong Kong which are believed to have targeted Hong Kong investors.
China Merchants International Corporation is the latest firm to come to the attention of the SFC and follows a warning issued just yesterday about retail broker TCA Financial which was also added as an unlicensed entity after providing incorrect address details on its website.
China Merchants uses bank accounts in Hong Kong in the name of Chapman Group Limited and G.D.S. International Group Limited for settlement.
According to the SFC, the firm which lists its address as Aurora Plaza, 99 Fucheng Road, Annex PH, Shanghai, PRC, is not associated with China Merchants Futures (HK) Co., Limited, China Merchants Securities (HK) Co., Limited, China Merchants China Investment Management Limited and China Merchants Asset Management (Hong Kong) Company Limited, which are SFC-licensed corporations.
Upon further investigation into the website, details of which were provided by the SFC, visitors are directed to a landing page entitled MoneyTalk Online, a well-known ‘promotional’ tactic aimed at luring potential investors to sign up for and invest in schemes such as this one, which are notoriously scams.
The SFC warns in its statement that unlicensed entities often use names similar to legitimate companies to confuse investors. In this case, ambiguities relating to the firm’s address and bank account details have also raised concerns and there remains a question mark as to the nature of the trading activities conducted by this so-called firm.
Hong Kong’s financial watchdog plays an important role in informing investors about potential scams by drawing attention to illicit operations and unregulated entities that market participants should refrain from doing business with.
Its latest warning on China Merchants is part of its efforts to clamp down on unlicensed businesses soliciting their services in Hong Kong.