Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, to a question by the Hon Chan Kin-por in the Legislative Council today (July 8):
The insurance sector has all along hoped that the Government will list particular insurance products (e.g. products which are investment-linked or with saving element) as permissible investment assets under the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme, so that participants of the Scheme will have more investment options which are reliable and secure, and long-term funds may be attracted to Hong Kong. On behalf of the sector, I have put forward the above proposal to the Financial Secretary and relevant government departments respectively. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it will list particular insurance products as permissible investment assets; if it will not, of the reasons for that; if it will, the expected implementation date, as well as the criteria to be met and procedure to be followed by insurance companies in applying for their insurance products to be listed as permissible investment assets?
In October 2003, the Government introduced the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme. The Scheme allows eligible overseas investors who do not wish to establish or operate their own business to enter Hong Kong for settlement. Permissible investment assets under the Scheme include real estate, equities, debt securities, certificates of deposits, subordinated debt and eligible collective investment schemes.
Following further exchanges of views with the trade and deliberations among relevant Bureaux and Departments, the Government considers that investment-linked assurance schemes products can be accepted as permissible investment assets, if they fall under the definition of collective investment scheme prescribed in the Securities and Futures Ordinance and meet the relevant requirements as stated in the Rules for the Capital Investment Entrant Scheme. We will process applications received from July 2009 onwards on the above basis.
The eligibility criteria and application procedures, including the requirement that the investor must be the absolute beneficiary of the relevant assets, are the same as those regarding other collective investment schemes (e.g.funds).