Becoming a Professional Investor in Hong Kong

Why become a Professional Investor?

Professional Investors have access to exclusive products, including products related to virtual assets1.

Certain complex and/or riskier products are only made available to Professional Investors because they are deemed to have the requisite level of knowledge and skill to properly assess the risks and benefits involved in trading and holding them. Professional Investors are also more likely to be able to bear trading losses.

In addition, we constantly expanding the selection of investments available to clients and periodically add new products and services that are only available to Professional Investors.

 

How do I qualify as a Professional Investor in Hong Kong?

To qualify as a Professional Investor2, you must meet or exceed prescribed financial thresholds, which vary by client category:

Client Category
Financial Threshold / Requirement
Individual A High Net Worth Individual in possession of cash and/or securities or have a portfolio held by a custodian of not less than HK$8 million (or its foreign currency equivalent).
Joint* A High Net Worth Individual, with either his or her spouse or children in a joint account, in possession of cash and/or securities or have a portfolio held by a custodian of not less than HK$8 million (or its foreign currency equivalent).
Corporation / Partnership A corporation or partnership in possession of cash and/or securities or have a portfolio held by a custodian of not less than HK$8 million (or its foreign currency equivalent) or total assets of not less than HK$40 million (or its foreign currency equivalent).
Trust Corporations A trust corporation that has been entrusted under the trust(s) of which it acts as trustee with total assets of not less than HK$40 million (or its foreign currency equivalent). Please note that all trustees, if more than one, must qualify as Professional Investors in order for the trust to qualify.

* If you are a joint account holder, you must represent and warrant to Interactive Brokers Hong Kong (IBHK) that you and the other account holder are married or parent/ child and that there is no written agreement between you and the other account holder which governs the sharing of your joint portfolio. If you and the other account holder are not married or parent/ child, or if an agreement exists which governs the sharing of your joint portfolio, you must immediately notify IBHK.

 

What are the considerations of becoming a Professional Investor?

Professional Investors are not afforded some of the protections given to general retail investors. In particular, Interactive Brokers Hong Kong (IBHK) is not required to fulfill certain requirements under the Code of Conduct and other Hong Kong regulations when providing services to Professional Investors. These include, but aren’t limited to, rules restricting or prohibiting the issuance of advertisements, the making of unsolicited calls and the communication of an offer in relation to securities.

 

What happens if I am no longer classified as a Professional Investor?

Professional Investors may withdraw their consent – or cease to qualify as a Professional Investor – at any time.

If you cease being classified as a Professional Investor, any investor products in your portfolio that are exclusive to Professional Investors will be placed in “Closing Only” status. This means you may continue to hold or close existing positions in these exclusive products but cannot expand or open new positions.

IBHK recommends that prospective Professional Investors obtain independent professional advice, if deemed necessary, in relation to the consequences of being treated as a professional investor (including those set forth in the SFO and the Code of Conduct).

Professional Investor status is subject to IBHK’s validation of your assets. Investing in financial products and services is subject to IBHK’s eligibility and suitability criteria.

 

1. Please see here for more information.
2. Professional Investor is a defined term in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of Cap. 571 Securities and Futures Ordinance (the “SFO”).