This risk disclosure statement does not purport to disclose or discuss all of the risks, or other significant aspect, of conducting transaction or of the transactions conducted. In light of the risks involved, you (i.e. Client) should undertake a transaction only if you understand its nature, the contractual relation into which you are entering, and the nature and extent of your exposure to risk. You should also consider whether a transaction is appropriate for you in light of your experience, objectives, financial resources and other relevant circumstances. While Sun International Securities Limited (“SISL”) proposes to give this general risk warning, it is not acting as your financial advisor and you must not regard SISL as so acting. You should consult your own independent legal, tax or financial advisors prior to entering into any transaction.
RISK OF SECURITIES TRADING
- The prices of securities fluctuate, sometimes dramatically, and that the price of a security may move up or down, and may become valueless. It is as likely that losses will be incurred rather than profit made as a result of buying and selling securities.
- The price of securities, including without limitation, bonds, interests in unit trusts, mutual funds or other collective investment schemes fluctuates, sometimes dramatically, and may move up or down or even become valueless. It is as likely that losses will be incurred rather than profit made as a result of buying and selling securities.
- Any representation of past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance.
- Where investments involve exposure to foreign currencies, changes in rates of exchange may cause the value of the investments to fluctuate up or down.
- Investments in emerging markets need careful and independent assessment by you of each investment and the risks (including without limitation sovereign risk, issuer risk, price risk, liquidity risk, legal and tax risks). Further, you should be aware that, while such investments can yield high gains, they can also be highly risky as the markets are unpredictable and there may be inadequate regulations and safeguards available to investors.
- SISL is entitled to act upon your instructions and you cannot assume that SISL will warn you if your instructions are will-timed or inadvisable for any reason or if the instructions are likely to cause you loss.
- Before you make any investment, you should obtain a clear explanation of all commission, fees and other charges for which you will be liable. These charges will affect your net profit (if any) or increase your loss.
RISK OF TRADING FUTURES AND OPTIONS
The risk of loss in trading futures contracts or options is substantial. In some circumstances, you may sustain losses in excess of your initial margin funds. Placing contingent orders, such as "stop-loss" or "stop-limit" orders, will not necessarily avoid loss. Market conditions may make it impossible to execute such orders. You may be called upon at short notice to deposit additional margin funds. If the required funds are not provided within the prescribed time, your position may be liquidated. You will remain liable for any resulting deficit in your account. You should therefore study and understand futures contracts and options before you trade and carefully consider whether such trading is suitable in the light of your own financial position and investment objectives. If you trade options you should inform yourself of exercise and expiration procedures and your rights and obligations upon exercise or expiry. If you are in any doubt about this document or about the sale and purchase of futures contracts or options or otherwise, you should consult your bank manager, solicitor, accountant or other independent professional adviser(s).
This brief statement does not disclose all of the risks and other significant aspects of trading in futures and options. In light of the risks, you should undertake such transactions only if you understand the nature of the contracts (and contractual relationships) into which you are entering and the extent of your exposure to risk. Trading in futures and options is not suitable for many members of the public. You should carefully consider whether trading is appropriate for you in light of your experience, objectives, financial resources and other relevant circumstances.
(a) Effect of “Leverage” or “Gearing”
Transactions in futures carry a high degree of risk. The amount of initial margin is small relative to the value of the futures contract so that transactions are “leveraged” or “geared”. A relatively small market movement will have a proportionately larger impact on the funds you have deposited or will have to deposit: this may work against you as well as for you. You may sustain a total loss of initial margin funds and any additional funds deposited with SISL to maintain your position. If the market moves against your position or margin levels are increased, you may be called upon to pay substantial additional funds on short notice to maintain your position. If you fail to comply with a request for additional funds within the time prescribed, your position may be liquidated at a loss and you will be liable for any resulting deficit.
(b) Risk-reducing orders or strategies
The placing of certain orders (e.g. “stop-loss” orders, or “stop-limit” orders) which are intended to limit losses to certain amounts may not be effective because market conditions may make it impossible to execute such orders. Strategies using combinations of positions, such as“spread” and “straddle” positions may be as risky as taking simple “long” or “short” positions.
Variable degree of risk
Transactions in options carry a high degree of risk. Purchasers and sellers of options should familiarise themselves with the type of option (i.e. put or call) which they contemplate trading and the associated risks. Some options may only be exercised on an expiry day (European-Style Exercise) and other options may be exercised at any time before expiration (American-Style Exercise).
You should calculate the extent to which the value of the options must increase for your position to become profitable, taking into account the premium and all transaction costs.
The purchaser of options may offset or exercise the options or allow the options to expire. The exercise of an option results either in a cash settlement or in the purchaser acquiring or delivering the underlying interest. If the option is on a futures contract, the purchaser will acquire a futures position with associated liabilities for margin (please see the section on “Futures” above). If the purchased options expire worthless, you understand that you will suffer a total loss of your investment which will consist of the option premium plus transaction costs. If you are contemplating purchasing deep-out-of-the-money options, you should be aware that the chance of such options becoming profitable ordinarily is remote.
Under some circumstances it may be difficult to trade the option due to lack of liquidity in the market. You acknowledge that SISL has no obligation either to exercise a valuable option in the absence of your instruction, or to give to you prior notice of the expiration date of the option.
Selling (“writing” or “granting”) an option generally entails considerably greater risk than purchasing options. Although the premium received by the seller is fixed; the seller may sustain a loss well in excess of that amount. The seller will be liable for additional margin to maintain the position if the market moves unfavorably. The seller will also be exposed to the risk of the purchaser exercising the option, and the seller will be obligated to either settle the option in cash or to acquire or deliver the underlying interest. If the option is on a futures contract, the seller will acquire a position in a futures contract with associated liabilities for margin (please see the section on “Futures” above). If the option is “covered” by the seller holding a corresponding position in the underlying interest or a futures contract or another option, the risk may be reduced. If the option is not covered, the risk of loss can be unlimited.
Certain exchanges in some jurisdictions permit deferred payment of the option premium, exposing the purchaser to liability for margin payments not exceeding the amount of the premium. The purchaser is still subject to the risk of losing the premium and transaction costs. When the option is exercised or expires, the purchaser is responsible for any unpaid premium outstanding at that time.
Additional risks common to futures and options
(a) Terms and conditions of contracts
You should ask SISL about the terms and conditions of the specific futures or options which you are trading and associated obligations (e.g. the circumstances under which you may become obliged to make or take delivery of the underlying interest of a futures contract and, in respect of options, expiration dates and restrictions on the time for exercise). Under certain circumstances the specifications of outstanding contracts (including the exercise price of an option) may be modified by the exchange or clearing house to reflect changes in the underlying interest.
(b) Suspension or restriction of trading and pricing relationships
Market conditions (e.g. illiquidity) and/or the operation of the rules of certain markets (e.g. the suspension of trading in any contract or contract month because of price limits or “circuit breakers”) may increase the risk of loss by making it difficult or impossible to effect transactions or liquidate/offset positions. You acknowledge that if you have sold options, this may increase the risk of loss.
Further, normal pricing relationships between the underlying interest and the futures, and the underlying interest and the option may not exist. This can occur when, for example, the futures contract underlying the option is subject to price limits while the option is not. The absence of an underlying reference price may make it difficult to judge “fair” value.
(c) Deposited cash and property
You should familiarise yourself with the protections given to money or other property you deposit for domestic and foreign transactions, particularly in the event of a firm’s insolvency or bankruptcy. The extent to which you may recover your money or property may be governed by specific legislation or local rules. In some jurisdictions, property which had been specifically identifiable as your own will be pro-rated in the same manner as cash for purposes of distribution in the event of a shortfall.
(d) Commission and other charges
Before you begin to trade, you should obtain a clear explanation of all commission, fees and other charges for which you will be liable. These charges will affect your net profit (if any) or increase your loss. By commencing any trading activities with SISL, you acknowledge that you have been so informed by SISL.
(e) Trading facilities
Electronic trading facilities are supported by computer-based component systems for the order-routing, execution, matching, registration or clearing of trades. As with all facilities and systems, they are vulnerable to temporary disruption or failure. Your ability to recover certain losses may be subject to limits on liability imposed by the system provider, the market, the clearing house and/or participant firms. Such limits may vary: you understand that you should ask the firm with which you deal for details in this respect.
(f) Electronic trading
Trading on an electronic trading system may differ from trading on other electronic trading systems. If you undertake transactions on an electronic trading system, you will be exposed to risks associated with the system including the failure of hardware and software. The result of any system failure may be that your order is either not executed according to your instructions or is not executed at all.
(g) Transactions in other jurisdictions
Transactions on markets in other jurisdictions, including markets formally linked to a domestic market, may expose you to additional risk. Such markets may be subject to regulation which may offer different or diminished investor protection. Before trading you should enquire about any rules relevant to your particular transactions. Your local regulatory authority will be unable to compel the enforcement of the rules of regulatory authorities or markets in other jurisdictions where your transactions have been effected. You should ask the firm with which you deal for details about the types of redress available in both your home jurisdiction and other relevant jurisdictions before starting to trade.
(h) Currency risks
The profit or loss in transactions in foreign currency-denominated contracts (whether they are traded in your own or another jurisdiction) will be affected by fluctuations in currency rates where there is a need to convert from the currency denomination of the contract to another currency.
(i) Off-exchange transactions
In some jurisdictions, and only then in restricted circumstances, firms are permitted to effect off-exchange transactions. The firm with which you deal may be acting as your counterparty to the transaction. It may be difficult or impossible to liquidate an existing position, to assess the value, to determine a fair price or to assess the exposure to risk. For these reasons, these transactions may involve increased risks. Off-exchange transactions may be less regulated or subject to a separate regulatory regime. Before you undertake such transactions, you should become familiarised with applicable rules and attendant risks. (Please also see the section on “Generic Risks Associated with OTC Derivative Transactions” below.)
RISK OF TRADING GROWTH ENTERPRISE MARKET STOCKS
Growth Enterprise Market (“GEM”) stocks involve a high investment risk. In particular, companies may list on GEM with neither a track record of profitability nor any obligation to forecast future profitability. GEM stocks may be very volatile and illiquid.
You should make the decision to invest only after due and careful consideration. The greater risk profile and other characteristics of GEM mean that it is a market more suited to professional and other sophisticated investors.
Current information on GEM stocks may only be found on the internet website operated by The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. GEM Companies are usually not required to issue paid announcements in gazetted newspapers.
You should seek independent professional advice if you are uncertain of or have not understood any aspect of this risk disclosure statement or the nature and risks involved in trading of GEM stocks.
RISKS OF CLIENT ASSETS RECEIVED OR HELD OUTSIDE HONG KONG
Client assets received or held by SISL or its nominee(s) outside Hong Kong are subject to the applicable laws and regulations of the relevant overseas jurisdiction which may be different from the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap.571) and the rules made thereunder. Consequently, such client assets may not enjoy the same protection as that conferred on client assets received or held in Hong Kong.
RISKS OF TRADING RENMINBI SECURITIES OR INVESTING IN RENMINBI INVESTMENTS
1. Exchange risks and Daily Conversion Limit, etc.
Renminbi (“RMB”) is currently not freely convertible and there may at any given time be limited availability of RMB outside Mainland China. There is conversion risk in RMB denominated securities, and daily or other limits may apply to conversion amounts.If converting to or from RMB in Hong Kong, you may have to allow sufficient time to avoid exceeding such limits. In addition, there is a liquidity risk associated with RMB denominated securities, especially if such securities do not have an active secondary market and their prices have large bid/offer spreads.
Investment in RMB denominated securities is subject to exchange rate risks. The value of the RMB against any other foreign currencies fluctuates and is affected by changes in Mainland China and international political and economic conditions and by many other factors. The value of RMB settlement amounts compared to other currencies will vary with the prevailing exchange rates in the market.
For RMB products which are not denominated in RMB or with underlying investments which are not RMB-denominated, such products will subject to multiple currency conversion costs involved in marking investments and liquidating investments, as well as the RMB exchange rate fluctuations and bid/offer spreads when assets are sold to meet redemption requests and other capital requirements (e.g. settling operating expenses).
2. Limited availability of underlying investments denominated in RMB
For RMB products that do not have access to invest directly in Mainland China, their available choice of underlying investments denominated in RMB outside Mainland China may be limited.Such limitation may adversely affect the return and performance of the RMB products.
3. Projected returns which are not guaranteed
If the RMB investment product is attached with a statement of illustrative return which is (partly) not guaranteed, you should pay particular attention to any disclosure relating to the return (or the part of the return, as the case may be) which is not guaranteed and the assumptions on which the illustrations are based, including, e.g., any future bonus or dividend declaration.
4. Long term commitment to investment products
For RMB products which involve a long period of investment, you should pay particular attention to the fact that if you redeem your investment before the maturity date or during the lock-up period (if applicable), you may incur a significant loss of principal where the proceeds may be substantially lower than their invested amount. You should beware of the early surrender/withdrawal fees and charges, if any, as well as the loss of bonuses (where applicable) as a result of redemption before the maturity date or during the lock-up period.
5. Credit risk of counterparties
You should pay particular attention to the credit risk of counterparties involved in the RMB products.To the extent that the RMB products may investment in RMB debt instruments not supported by any collateral, such products are fully exposed to the credit risk of the relevant counterparties. Where a RMB product may invest in derivative instruments, counterparty risk may also arise as the default by the derivative issuers may adversely affect the performance of the RMB product and result in substantial loss.
6. Interest rate risk
For RMB products which are, or may invest in, RMB debt instruments, you should pay attention to the fact that such instruments may be susceptible to interest rate fluctuations, which may adversely affect the return and performance of the RMB products.
7. Liquidity Risk
You should pay attention to the liquidity risk associated with the RMB products, and where applicable, the possibility that the RMB products may suffer significant losses in liquidating the underlying investments, especially if such investments do not have an active secondary market and their prices have large bid/offer spreads.
8. Possibility of not receiving RMB upon redemption
For RMB products with a significant portion of non-RMB denominated underlying investments, you should pay attention to the possibility of not receiving the full amount in RMB upon redemption. This may be the case if the issuer is not able to obtain sufficient amount of RMB in a timely manner due to the exchange controls and restrictions applicable to the currency.
9. Additional risks associated with leveraged trading
Prior to conducting leveraged trading of RMB products, you should make sure that you understand and accept the risks and the terms and conditions of the borrowing arrangement.Leveraging heightens the investment risk by magnifying prospective losses. You should pay attention to the circumstances under which you will be required to place additional margin deposits at short notice and that your collateral may be liquidated without your consent. You should beware of the risk that market conditions may make it impossible to execute contingent orders, such as “stop-loss” orders.In addition, you should be mindful of your exposure to interest rate risk, and in particular, your cost of borrowing may increase due to interest rate movements.”
RISK OF TRADING NASDAQ-AMEX SECURITIES AT THE SEHK
The securities under the Nasdaq-Amex Pilot Program (“PP”) are aimed at sophisticated investors. You should consult the licensed or registered person and become familiarised with the PP before trading in the PP securities. You should be aware that the PP securities are not regulated as a primary or secondary listing on the Main Board or the Growth Enterprise Market of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.
RISK OF PROVIDING AN AUTHORITY TO REPLEDGE YOUR SECURITIES COLLATERAL, ETC.
There is risk if you provide the licensed or registered person with an authority that allows it to apply your securities or securities collateral pursuant to a securities borrowing and lending agreement, repledge your securities collateral for financial accommodation or deposit your securities collateral as collateral for the discharge and satisfaction of its settlement obligations and liabilities.
If your securities or securities collateral are received or held by the licensed or registered person in Hong Kong, the above arrangement is allowed only if you consent in writing. Moreover, unless you are a professional investor, your authority must specify the period for which it is current and be limited to not more than 12 months. If you are a professional investor, these restrictions do not apply.
Additionally, your authority may be deemed to be renewed (i.e. without your written consent) if the licensed or registered person issues you a reminder at least 14 days prior to the expiry of the authority, and you do not object to such deemed renewal before the expiry date of your then existing authority.
You are not required by any law to sign these authorities. But an authority may be required by licensed or registered persons, for example, to facilitate margin lending to you or to allow your securities or securities collateral to be lent to or deposited as collateral with third parties. The licensed or registered person should explain to you the purposes for which one of these authorities is to be used.
If you sign one of these authorities and your securities or securities collateral are lent to or deposited with third parties, those third parties will have a lien or charge on your securities or securities collateral. Although the licensed or registered person is responsible to you for securities or securities collateral lent or deposited under your authority, a default by it could result in the loss of your securities or securities collateral.
A cash account not involving securities borrowing and lending is available from most licensed or registered persons. If you do not require margin facilities or do not wish your securities or securities collateral to be lent or pledged, do not sign the above authorities and ask to open this type of cash account.
RISK OF PROVIDING AN AUTHORITY TO HOLD MAIL OR TO DIRECT MAIL TO THIRD PARTIES
If you provide SISL with an authority to hold mail or to direct mail to third parties, it is important for you to promptly collect in person all contract notes and statements of your account and review them in detail to ensure that any anomalies or mistakes can be detected in a timely fashion.
RISK IN RELATION TO AUTHORIZED THIRD PARTY
There are substantial risks in allowing an Authorized Third Party to trade or operate your account, and it is possible that instructions could be given by persons not properly authorized. You accept all of the risks of such an operation and irrevocably releases SISL from all liabilities arising out of or in connection with such instructions, whether taken by SISL or otherwise.
RISK IN LEAVING MONEY OR OTHER PROPERTY IN THE CUSTODY OF SISL OR ITS NOMINEES OR AGENTS
You acknowledge that there are risks in leaving money or other property in the custody of SISL or its nominees or agents. For example, if SISL is holding your money or other property becomes insolvent, you may experience significant delay in recovering the same. These are risks that you are prepared to accept.
RISK OF MARGIN TRADING
The risk of loss in financing a transaction by deposit of collateral is significant. You may sustain losses in excess of your cash and any other assets deposited as collateral with the licensed or registered person. Market conditions may make it impossible to execute contingent orders, such as "stop-loss" or "stop-limit" orders. You may be called upon at short notice to make additional margin deposits or interest payments. If the required margin deposits or interest payments are not made within the prescribed time, your collateral may be liquidated without your consent. Moreover, you will remain liable for any resulting deficit in your account and interest charged on your account. You should therefore carefully consider whether such a financing arrangement is suitable in light of your own financial position and investment objectives.
RISKS ON BONDS
- The price of bonds can and does fluctuate, sometimes dramatically. The price of a bond may move up or down, and may become valueless. It is as likely that losses will be incurred rather than profit made as a result of buying and selling of bonds. Also, there may be risks in leaving bonds in our safekeeping. The holder of bonds bears the credit risk of the issuer and/or guarantor (if applicable) and has no recourse to us unless we are the issuer or guarantor (if applicable).
- Not all bonds provide for repayment of 100% of the face value of the bond. The return on a bond depends on the terms of issue and reference should be made to the corresponding prospectus or term sheet for detail and there may be circumstances that the money and/or value of shares that you receive at maturity may be substantially less than the value of your original investment. If there is any fractional share(s) or other Securities or underlying assets deliverables on maturity, it/they may not be physical delivered.
- In situations where any bond is a product combining note with financial or other derivatives, such as options, its return may be linked to the performance of other financial instruments, such as underlying stocks, commodities, currencies, companies, and indices. Unless such bond is listed on Exchange or other regulated stock exchanges, you will only be able to sell such bond on the over-the-counter market, if at all. The prices of bonds in secondary markets are affected by a wide range of factors, including without limitation, the performance of the underlying stocks, commodities, currencies, companies, indices, the market view of the credit quality of the reference company and interest rates. You must be aware that secondary markets do not always exist and even where a secondary market exists, it may not be liquid. You must accept any associated liquidity risk.
- Transactions in options carry a high degree of risk (including products that have options embedded in them such as bonds). Purchasers and sellers of options should familiarize themselves with the type of option (i.e. put or call) which they contemplate trading and the associated risks.
- The profit or loss in transactions in foreign currency-denominated contracts (whether they are traded in your own or another jurisdiction) will be affected by fluctuations in currency exchange rates where there is a need to convert from the currency denomination of the contract to another currency.
RISK OF TRADING IN DERIVATIVES AND STRUCTURED PRODUCTS GENERALLY
Derivative transactions (“Derivative Transactions”) can involve a range of products (including some more generally known as structured notes and also including products known as structured deposits). Such products can either be apparently simple (such as forwards or options) or highly (and perhaps individually) structured. These products can have substantial benefits for users but they carry with them substantial risks which must be clearly understood by their users. Considering the possible risks, you should ensure that you have all necessary information you require to assess a Derivative Transaction before deciding on its appropriateness for you. You should consider what you intend to achieve from the Derivative Transaction, including your financial and operational resources, and any tax and accounting considerations. You should be aware of any general framework for Derivative Transactions established by any governing body. There may also be significant regulatory or other legal considerations to be taken into account.
For the sake of simplicity, Derivative Transactions can be divided into four basic forms, although the forms can be overlapping and one deal can be a combination of those four forms. The basic forms are swaps, options, forwards and hybrid instruments (which are asset, liability, equity or debt obligations with an embedded transaction from one of the other three categories). Derivative Transactions can be settled in cash, by delivery of property against other property or cash, or by normal hold to maturity with no cash settlements. No matter what form is involved, a common feature of all derivatives is that the obligations of one or both of the parties are based on price movements in an underlying financial asset from which the transaction is derived. This financial asset may be, for example, securities (including shares and bonds), interest rates, indices, currencies or the creditworthiness of a reference entity.
You should not enter into a Derivative Transaction unless you fully understand:
- The nature and fundamentals of a derivative and the financial asset underlying such derivative;
- The legal terms and conditions of the documentation for such derivative;
- The extent of the economic risk to which you are exposed as a result of entering into such Derivative Transaction (and you have determined that such risk is suitable for you in light of your specific experience in relation to such Derivative Transaction and/or the relevant derivative and your financial objectives, circumstances and resources);
- The tax treatment of such derivative (which can be complex and/or uncertain); and
- The regulatory treatment of such derivative.
GENERIC RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH OVER-THE COUNTER (“OTC”) DERIVATIVE TRANSACTIONS
OTC derivative transactions, like other financial transactions, involve a variety of significant risks. The specific risks presented by a particular OTC derivative transactions involve some combination of market risk, credit risk, funding risk and operational risk.
- Market risk is the risk that the value of a transaction will be adversely affected by fluctuations in the level or volatility of or correlation or relationship between one or more market prices, rates or indices or other market factors or by illiquidity in the market for the relevant transaction or in a related market.
- Credit risk is the risk that a counterparty will fail to perform its obligations to you when due.
- Funding risk is the risk that, as a result of mismatches or delays in the timing of cash flows due from or to your counterparties in OTC derivative transactions or related hedging, trading, collateral or other transactions, you or your counterparty will not have adequate cash available to fund current obligations.
- Operational risk is the risk of loss to you arising from inadequacies in or failures of your internal systems and controls for monitoring and quantifying the risks and contractual obligations associated with OTC derivative transactions, for recording and valuing OTC derivative and related transactions, or for detecting human error, systems failure or management failure.
There may be other significant risks that you should consider based on the terms of a specific transaction. Highly customised OTC derivative transactions in particular may increase liquidity risk and introduce other significant risk factors of a complex character. Highly leveraged transactions may experience substantial gains or losses in value as a result of relatively small changes in the value or level of an underlying or related market factor.
Because the price and other terms on which you may enter into or terminate an OTC derivative transaction are individually negotiated, these may not represent the best price or terms available to you from other sources.
In evaluating the risks and contractual obligations associated with a particular OTC derivative transaction, you should also consider that an OTC derivative transaction may be modified or terminated only by mutual consent of the original parties and subject to agreement on individually negotiated terms. Accordingly, it may not be possible for you to modify, terminate or offset your obligations or your exposure to the risks associated with a transaction prior to its scheduled termination date.
Similarly, while makers and dealers generally quote prices or terms for entering into terminating OTC derivative transactions and provide indicative or mid-market quotations with respect to outstanding OTC derivative transactions, they are generally not contractually obligated to do so. In addition, it may not be possible to obtain indicative or mid-market quotations for an OTC derivative transaction from a market maker or dealer that is not a counterparty to the transaction. Consequently, it may also be difficult for you to establish an independent value for an outstanding OTC derivative transaction. You should not regard your counterparty’s provision of a valuation or indicative price at your request as an offer to enter into or terminate the relevant transaction at that value or price, unless the value or price is identified by the counterparty as firm or binding.
The above does not purport to disclose all of the risks and other material considerations associated with OTC derivative transactions. You should not construe this generic disclosure statement as business, legal, tax or accounting advice or as modifying applicable law. You should consult your own business, legal, tax and accounting advisers with respect to proposed OTC derivative transactions and you should refrain from entering into any OTC derivative transaction unless you have fully understood the terms and risks of the transaction, including the extent of your potential risk of loss.
RISKS OF TRADING IN EXCHANGE-TRADED STRUCTURED PRODUCTS (“STRUCTURED PRODUCTS”) E.G. DERIVATIVE WARRANTS (“WARRANTS”), CALLABLE BULL/BEAR CONTRACTS (“CBBC”)
1. Issuer default risk
In the event that a Structured Product issuer becomes insolvent and defaults on their listed securities, investors will be considered as unsecured creditors and will have no preferential claims to any assets held by the issuer. Investors should therefore pay close attention to the financial strength and credit worthiness of structured product issuers.
Note: “Issuers Credit Rating” showing the credit ratings of individual issuers is now available under the Issuer and Liquidity Provider Information sub-section under Derivative Warrants and under CBBCs section on the HKEx corporate website.
2. Uncollateralized product risk
Uncollateralized Structured Products are not asset backed. In the event of issuer bankruptcy, investors can lose their entire investment. Investors should read the listing documents to determine if a product is uncollateralized.
3. Gearing risk
Structured Products such as Warrants and CBBCs are leveraged and can change in value rapidly according to the gearing ratio relative to the underlying assets. Investors should be aware that the value of a Structured Product may fall to zero resulting in a total loss of the initial investment.
4. Expiry considerations
Structured Products have an expiry date after which the issue may become worthless. Investors should be aware of the expiry time horizon and choose a product with an appropriate lifespan for their trading strategy.
5. Extraordinary price movements
The price of a Structured Product may not match its theoretical price due to outside influences such as market supply and demand factors. As a result, actual traded prices can be higher or lower than the theoretical price.
6. Foreign exchange risk
Investors trading Structured Products with underlying assets not denominated in Hong Kong dollars are also exposed to exchange rate risk. Currency rate fluctuations can adversely affect the underlying asset value, also affecting the Structured Product price.
7. Liquidity risk
The Exchange requires all Structured Product issuers to appoint a liquidity provider for each individual issue. The role of liquidity providers is to provide two way quotes to facilitate trading of their products. In the event that a liquidity provider defaults or ceases to fulfil its role, investors may not be able to buy or sell the product until a new liquidity provider has been assigned. There is no guarantee that investors will be able to buy or sell their Structured products at their target price any time they wish.
SOME ADDITIONAL RISKS INVOLVED IN TRADING WARRANTS
1. Time decay risk
All things being equal, the value of a Warrant will decay over time as it approaches its expiry date. Warrants should therefore not be viewed as long term investments.
2. Volatility risk
Prices of Warrants can increase or decrease in line with the implied volatility of underlying asset price. Investors should be aware of the underlying asset volatility.
3. Market Risk and Turnover
Other than basic factors that determine the theoretical price of a Warrant, Warrant price are also affected by all prevailing market forces including the demand for and supply of the Warrants. The market forces will be greatest when a Warrant issue is almost sold out and when issuers make further issues of an existing Warrant issue. High turnover should not be regarded as an indication the price of a Warrant will go up. The price of a Warrant is affected by a number of factors in addition to market forces, such as the price of the underlying assets and its volatility, the time remaining to expiry, interest rates and the expected dividend on the underlying assets.
SOME ADDITIONAL RISKS INVOLVED IN TRADING CBBCS
1. Mandatory call risk
Investors trading CBBCs should be aware of their intraday “knockout” or mandatory call feature. A CBBC will cease trading when the underlying asset value equals the mandatory call price/level as stated in the listing documents. Investors will only be entitled to the residual value of the terminated CBBC as calculated by the product issuer in accordance with the listing documents. Investors should also note that the residual value can be zero.
2. Funding costs
The issue price of a CBBC includes funding costs. Funding costs are gradually reduced over time as the CBBC moves towards expiry. The longer the duration of the CBBC, the higher the total funding costs. In the event that a CBBC is called, investors will lose the funding costs for the entire lifespan of the CBBC. The formula for calculating the funding costs are stated in the listing documents.
3. Trading of CBBC Close to Call Price
When the underlying asset is trading close to the call price, the price of a CBBC may be more volatile with wider spreads and uncertain liquidity. CBBC may be called at any time and trading will terminate as a result. However, the trade inputted by the investor may still be executed and confirmed by the Exchange participants after the Mandatory Call Event (“MCE”) since there may be some time lapse between the MCE time and suspension of the CBBC trading. Any trades executed after the MCE will not be recognized and cancelled. Therefore, investors should be aware of the risk and ought to apply special caution when the CBBC is trading close to the call price.
For more information on Warrants and CBBCs, please visit the HKEx corporate website:
Derivative Warrants, Products & Services Section
Callable Bull/Bear Contracts, Products & Services Section
RISKS OF TRADING IN SYNTHETIC EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS (“ETFs”)
Unlike traditional Exchange Traded Funds (“ETFs”), Synthetic ETFs do not buy the assets in their benchmark. Instead, they typically invest in financial derivative instruments to replicate the benchmark’s performance. Investment in Synthetic ETFs involves high risk and is not suitable for every investor. Investors should understand and consider the following risks before trading Synthetic ETFs.
ETFs are typically designed to track the performance of certain indices, market sectors, or group of assets such as stocks, bonds, or commodities. Investors are exposed to the political, economic, currency and other risks related to the ETF’s underlying index/assets it is tracking. Investment must be prepared to bear the risk of loss and volatility associated with the underlying index/asset.
Where a Synthetic ETF invests in derivatives to replicate the index performance, investors are exposed to the credit risk of the counterparties who issued the derivatives, in addition to the risks relating to the index. Further, potential contagion and concentration risks of the derivatives issuers should be taken into account (e.g. since derivative issuers are predominantly international financial institutions, the failure of one derivative counterparty of Synthetic ETF may have a “knock-on” effect on other derivative counterparties of the Synthetic ETFs). Some Synthetic ETFs have collateral to reduce the counterparty risk, but there may be a risk that the market value of the collateral has fallen substantially when the Synthetic ETF seeks to realize the collateral.
There is no assurance that a liquid market exists for an ETF. A higher liquidity risk is involved if a Synthetic ETF involves derivatives which do not have an active secondary market. Wider bid-offer spreads in the price of derivatives may result in losses. Therefore, they can be more difficult costly to unwind early, when the instruments provide access to a restricted market where liquidity is limited.
Tracking Error Risk
There may be disparity between the performance of the ETFs and the performance of the underlying index due to, for instance, failure of the tracking strategy, currency differences, fees and expenses.
Trading at a Discount or Premium
Where the index/market that the ETF tracks is subject to restricted access, the efficiency in unit creation or redemption to keep the price of the ETFs in line with its net asset value (NAV) may be disrupted, causing the ETF to trade at a higher premium or discount to its NAV. Investors who buy an ETF at a premium may not be able to recover the premium in the event of termination.
Foreign Exchange Risk
Investors trading ETFs with underlying assets not denominated in Hong Kong dollars are also exposed to exchange rate risk. Currency rate fluctuations can adversely affect the underlying asset value, also affecting the ETFs price.
RISK IN RELATION TO THE USE OF THE INTERNET OR OTHER ELECTRONIC MEDIUM
Any communication or transaction via or information (including any document) transmitted via the Internet or other electronic medium involves risks and you understand and accept the following risks:
- The internet or other electronic media (including without limitation electronic devices, services of third party telecom service providers such as mobile phones or other handheld trading devices) are an inherently unreliable form of communication, and that such unreliability is beyond SISL’s control.
- Information (including any document) transmitted or communication or transactions over the internet or through other electronic media (including without limitation electronic devices, services of third party telecom service providers such as mobile phones or other handheld trading devices) may be subject to interruption, transmission blackout, delayed transmission due to data volume or incorrect data transmission (including without limitation incorrect price quotation) or stoppage of price data feed due to the public nature of the Internet or other electronic media.
- As a result of such unreliability, there may be time-lags or delays or failures or loss of data or loss of confidentiality in the transmission of data and receipt of instructions may be executed at prices different from those prevailing at the time the instructions were given.
DISCLAIMER delivered pursuant to Regulation 020 of the Regulations for Trading Stock Index Futures Contracts developed by Hang Seng Indexes Company Limited.
Disclaimer in Relation to Trading of Stock Index Futures Contracts
Hang Seng Indexes Company Limited (“HSIL”) currently publishes, compiles and computes a number of stock indexes and may publish, compileand compute such additional stock indexes at the request of Hang Seng Data Services Limited (“HSDS”) from time to time (collectively, the“Hang Seng Indexes”). The marks, names and processes of compilation and computation of the respective Hang Seng Indexes are the exclusive property of and proprietary to HSDS. HSIL has granted to Hong Kong Futures Exchange Limited (the “Exchange”) by way of licence the use of the Hang Seng Indexes solely for the purposes of and in connection with the creation, marketing and trading of futures contracts based on any of the Hang Seng Indexes respectively (collectively, “Futures Contracts”). The process and basis of compilation and computation of any of the Hang Seng Indexes and any of the related formula or formulae, constituent stocks and factors may at any time be changed or altered by HSIL without notice and the Exchange may at any time require that trading in and settlement of such of the Futures Contracts as the Exchange may designate be conducted by reference to an alternative index or alternative indexes to be calculated. Neither the Exchange nor HSDS nor HSIL warrants or represents or guarantees to any participant or any third party the accuracy or completeness of the Hang Seng Indexes or any of them and the compilation and computation thereof or any information related thereto and no such warranty or representation or guarantee of any kind whatsoever relating to the Hang Seng Indexes or any of them is given or may be implied. Further, no responsibility or liability whatsoever is accepted by the Exchange, HSDS or HSIL in respect of the use of the Hang Seng Indexes or any of them for the purposes of and in connection with the Futures Contracts or any of them and/or dealings therein, or for any inaccuracies, omissions, mistakes, errors, delays, interruptions, suspension, changes or failures (including but not limited to those resulting from negligence) of HSIL in the compilation and computation of the Hang Seng Indexes or any of them or for any economic or other losses which may be directly or indirectly sustained as a result thereof by any participant or any third party dealing with the Futures Contracts or any of them. No claims, actions or legal proceedings may be brought by any participant or any third party against the Exchange and/or HSDS and/or HSIL in connection with or arising out of matters referred to in this disclaimer. Any participant or any third party deals in the Futures Contracts or any of them in full knowledge of this disclaimer and can place no reliance whatsoever on the Exchange, HSDS and/or HSIL. For the avoidance of doubt, this disclaimer does not create any contractual or quasi-contractual relationship between any participant or third party and HSIL and/or HSDS and must not be construed to have created such relationship.
Disclaimer in Relation to Trading of Stock Index Option Contracts
Hang Seng Indexes Company Limited (“HSIL”) currently publishes, compiles and computes a number of stock indexes and may publish, compile and compute such additional stock indexes at the request of Hang Seng Data Services Limited (“HSDS”) from time to time (collectively, the“Hang Seng Indexes”). The marks, names and processes of compilation and computation of the respective Hang Seng Indexes are the exclusive property of and proprietary to HSDS. HSIL has granted to Hong Kong Futures Exchange Limited (the “Exchange”) by way of licence the use of the Hang Seng Indexes solely for the purposes of and in connection with the creation, marketing and trading of option contracts based on any of the Hang Seng Indexes respectively (collectively, the “Option Contracts”). The process and basis of compilation and computation of any of the Hang Seng Indexes and any of the related formula or formulae, constituent stocks and factors may at any time be changed or altered by HSIL without notice and the Exchange may at any time require that trading in and settlement of such of the Option Contracts as the Exchange may designate be conducted by reference to an alternative index or alternative indexes to be calculated. Neither the Exchange nor HSDS nor HSIL warrants or represents or guarantees to any participant or any third party the accuracy or completeness of the Hang Seng Indexes or any of them and the compilation and computation thereof or any information related thereto and no such warranty or representation or guarantee of any kind whatsoever relating to the Hang Seng Indexes or any of them is given or may be implied. Further, no responsibility or liability whatsoever is accepted by the Exchange, HSDS or HSIL in respect of the use of the Hang Seng Indexes or any of them for the purposes of and in connection with the Option Contracts or any of them and/or dealings therein, or for any inaccuracies, omissions, mistakes, errors, delays, interruptions, suspension, changes or failures (including but not limited to those resulting from negligence) of HSIL in the compilation and computation of the Hang Seng Indexes or any of them or for any economic or other losses which may be directly or indirectly sustained as a result thereof by any participant or any third party dealing with the Option Contracts or any of them. No claims, actions or legal proceedings may be brought by any participant or any third party against the Exchange and/or HSDS and/or HSIL in connection with or arising out of matters referred to in this disclaimer. Any participant or any third party deals in the Option Contracts or any of them in full knowledge of this disclaimer and can place no reliance whatsoever on the Exchange, HSDS and/or HSIL. For the avoidance of doubt, this disclaimer does not create any contractual or quasi-contractual relationship between any participant or third party and HSIL and/or HSDS and must not be construed to have created such relationship.
HK EXCHANGE DISCLAIMER
Stock indices and other proprietary products upon which contracts traded on Hong Kong Futures Exchange Limited (the “Exchange”) may be based may from time to time be developed by the Exchange. The HKFE Taiwan Index is the first of such stock indices developed by the Exchange. The HKFE Taiwan Index and such other indices or proprietary products as may from time to time be developed by the Exchange (the “Exchange Indices”) are the property of the Exchange. The process of compilation and computation of each of the Exchange Indices is and will be the exclusive property of and proprietary to the Exchange. The process and basis of compilation and computation of the Exchange Indices may at any time be changed or altered by the Exchange without notice and the Exchange may at any time require that trading in and settlement of such futures or options contracts based on any of the Exchange Indices as the Exchange may designate be conducted by reference to an alternative index to be calculated. The Exchange does not warrant or represent or guarantee to any member of the Exchange or any third party the accuracy or completeness of any of the Exchange Indices or their compilation and computation or any information related thereto and no such warranty or representation or guarantee of any kind whatsoever relating to any of the Exchange Indices is given or may be implied. Further, no responsibility or liability whatsoever is accepted by the Exchange in respect of the use of any of the Exchange Indices or for any inaccuracies, omissions, mistakes, errors, delays, interruptions, suspensions, changes or failures (including but not limited to those resulting from negligence) of the Exchange or any other person or persons appointed by the Exchange to compile and compute any of the Exchange Indices in the compilation and computation of any of the Exchange Indices or for any economic or other losses which may be directly or indirectly sustained as a result thereof by any member of the Exchange or any third party dealing with futures or options contracts based on any of the Exchange Indices. No claims, actions or legal proceedings may be brought by any member of the Exchange or any third party against the Exchange in connection with or arising out of matters referred to in this disclaimer. Any member of the Exchange or any third party engages in transactions in futures and options contracts based on any of the Exchange Indices in full knowledge of this disclaimer and can place no reliance on the Exchange in respect of such transactions.