May 18, 2020 / 10:00 AM / 15 days ago

UPDATE 1-Ashley Alder to lead Hong Kong's markets watchdog for three more years

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HONG KONG, May 18 (Reuters) - Ashley Alder, chief executive of Hong Kong’s markets watchdog, has been reappointed for another three years, the Hong Kong government said in a statement on Monday.

Alder, who has led the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) since October 2011, had previously said he would step down in September this year at the end of his current term of office.

“After a careful re-assessment of the circumstances ... I have accepted an invitation to remain at the helm of the SFC at a time when regulatory clarity is more important than ever to ensure that the financial system functions reliably and with integrity throughout a period of exceptional stress,” Alder said in a separate statement from the SFC.

“Continuity of leadership at the SFC would significantly boost the confidence of international and local investors about Hong Kong’s financial markets,” the Hong Kong government said, adding that the new coronavirus had caused unprecedented challenges for markets.

During Alder’s tenure, the SFC took a more active, interventionist role in policing Hong Kong’s capital markets after a series of stock crashes and wild price swings threatened to undermine the market.

The SFC also imposed larger penalties for wrongdoing in recent years than it had done previously, in line with global trends.

It banned UBS last year, from leading initial public offerings in Hong Kong for 10 months and fined it and rivals including Morgan Stanley (MS.N) a combined $100 million for due diligence failures on a series of IPOs.

Alder, who is also chairman of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), had been linked to the role of chief executive of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Reporting by Alun John, editing by Louise Heavens

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