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FUTU HOLDINGS LIMITED

(FUTU)
  Report
Real-time Estimate Cboe BZX  -  02:20:32 2023-03-24 pm EDT
49.14 USD   +0.93%
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China warns unlicensed online brokerages they are breaking the law

10/28/2021 | 12:53am EDT

SHANGHAI, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Online brokerages not licensed in China are conducting illegal businesses if they serve Chinese clients via the internet, a Chinese central banker said, in the first official comment on recent reports flagging regulatory risks facing firms such as U.S.-listed Futu Holding and UP Fintech Holding.

"Cross-border online brokerages are driving in China without driver's license. They're conducting illegal financial activities," Sun Tianqi, head of the Financial Stability Department of the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said in a speech, according to a transcript released on Wednesday.

Futu and UP Fintech face regulatory risks as China's new personal data privacy law takes effect on Nov. 1, the official People's Daily said in an analysis on its website on Oct 14.

Nasdaq-listed shares of Futu and Fintech have since plunged, amid concern that the sector will be next in Beijing's regulatory crosshairs. China has launched a flurry of crackdowns targeting sectors ranging from technology to cryptocurrency to property.

Speaking at the Bund Summit in Shanghai over the weekend, PBOC's Sun said that some online brokerages, with only overseas licenses, serve mainly mainland Chinese investors, allowing them to trade U.S. and Hong Kong stocks.

Without identifying the firms, Sun said that 80% of accounts of a brokerage registered in the Cayman Islands were opened by mainland clients, while the ratio is 55% for another Hong Kong-registered brokerage.

"Financial licenses have national boundaries," Sun said.

"Overseas institutions with only overseas licenses conducting business in mainland China is illegal financial activity."

The transcript of Sun's speech was released on the website of the Finance 40 Forum, which organised the summit.

Futu said in its 2020 annual report that it primarily serves the emerging affluent Chinese population and a large number of its clients are mainland Chinese citizens.

Futu said it does not believe it engages in securities brokerage business in China by redirecting users and clients to open accounts and make transactions outside China but said there were regulatory risks. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Andrew Galbraith Editing by Robert Birsel)


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BANK OF CHINA LIMITED -0.99% 3.01 Delayed Quote.7.04%
FUTU HOLDINGS LIMITED 0.84% 49.05 Delayed Quote.19.75%
NASDAQ COMPOSITE -0.15% 11771.24 Real-time Quote.12.62%
UP FINTECH HOLDING LIMITED -2.06% 3.085 Delayed Quote.-7.62%
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Analyst Recommendations on FUTU HOLDINGS LIMITED
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Financials
Sales 2022 7 270 M 926 M 926 M
Net income 2022 2 784 M 355 M 355 M
Net cash 2022 49 009 M 6 243 M 6 243 M
P/E ratio 2022 19,6x
Yield 2022 -
Capitalization 53 214 M 6 779 M 6 779 M
EV / Sales 2022 0,58x
EV / Sales 2023 -0,11x
Nbr of Employees 2 318
Free-Float 48,2%
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 18
Last Close Price 382,13 HKD
Average target price 469,43 HKD
Spread / Average Target 22,8%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Leaf Hua Li Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Arthur Yu Chen Chief Financial Officer
Vic Haixiang Li Independent Director
Pui Man Tam Independent Director
Nineway Jie Zhang Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capi. (M$)
FUTU HOLDINGS LIMITED19.75%6 779
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WORLDLINE6.52%11 942
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