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Hong Kong fund managed by State Street to resume investments in banned stocks

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HONG KONG (Reuters) – One of Hong Kong’s largest exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to resume investing in stocks denied to Americans by US President Donald Trump in an executive order that has confused managers of active.

A spokeswoman for the State Street Corp unit that manages the Tracker Fund of Hong Kong (TraHK) said the ETF, which tracks the benchmark Hang Seng Index, is able to invest in stocks because neither he nor the manager State Street Global Advisors Asia is American. people.

In a trade brief on Wednesday, TraHK said it would resume buying the shares on Thursday.

This marked a reversal from an exchange deposit three days earlier, in which the fund said it would no longer invest in sanctioned securities on a list compiled by the US Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

OFAC’s list is linked to the November order banning Americans from investing in Chinese securities that the United States considers to have ties to the Chinese military, effective Monday.

Hong Kong-listed shares of telecommunications companies China Mobile and China Unicom are on the OFAC list and are included in the Hang Seng Index.

The New York Stock Exchange turned twice in seven days last week amid uncertainty over whether US-listed shares in the two companies and China Telecom were covered by the executive order.

He first said he would withdraw the U.S. certificates of deposit from all three entities, then he would keep them listed, citing a clarification from OFAC, before finally confirming that he would withdraw them.

TraHK’s initial decision to stop investing in the banned securities angered some investors, who feared the fund would be unable to effectively track the benchmark.

Some have called for State Street to be replaced as director with a company that could invest in the stocks.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said at a press conference on Tuesday that the executive order reflected a kind of American hegemony.

TraHK, which is popular with retail investors and Hong Kong pension funds, was established in 1998 by the Hong Kong government to sell stocks it had bought during market interventions during the Asian financial crisis. . It was listed in 1999.

Reporting by Alun John; Additional reporting by Clare Jim; Edited by Chizu Nomiyama and David Goodman

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