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"Professional” is a term used to describe someone who is competent, knowledgeable or skilled in a particular profession or discipline. The Securities and Futures Ordinance has provided the definition for “Professional Investors”.

Professional investors as defined by the Ordinance, are divided into two groups. The first group refers to the institutional professional investors specified under the Ordinance, e.g. the recognised exchanges, brokerages, banks, insurance companies, MPF schemes and collective investment schemes, and the companies who manage these investment schemes. The second group refers to individuals, corporations, trust corporations and partnerships whose wealth reach a specified level. For the second group, professional investors are defined in terms of wealth.

It may not be generally accepted to define professional investors based on wealth. However, the definition is comparable to other major financial centres, it helps establish a regime for private placement activities, and is important to the regulatory regime on investment product sales and intermediary supervision.