On 15 April 2024, Nikkei Asia reported that Hong Kong’s securities watchdog had granted approval for the first spot Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs), marking a significant step towards establishing the city as the first in Asia to recognize these prominent cryptocurrencies as conventional investment vehicles. The news outlet stated that the Hong Kong branches of Bosera Asset Management and China Asset Management had announced in individual statements that they had secured the necessary approvals from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to initiate these ETFs.

China Asset Management (Hong Kong) stands as a key player in Hong Kong’s asset management sector. Established in 2008 as an overseas extension of China Asset Management, one of China’s largest fund companies, it was among the first Chinese asset management firms to expand internationally. As of December 31, 2023, its parent company managed assets surpassing US$266 billion. Over the past 16 years, the company has cultivated a robust investment research team that supports a wide array of financial products and services. These offerings include long-term equity and bond funds, hedge funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), leveraged and inverse products, and separately managed accounts.

In its statement, China Asset Management (Hong Kong) said that it had received approval from the SFC to “issue ETF products that can invest in spot Bitcoin and spot Ethereum” and that it had “joined hands with OSL Digital Securities Co., Ltd., a leading partner in the virtual asset industry, and BOC International Prudential Trusteeship Ltd., a leading custodian, to actively research and deploy this.”

OSL Digital Securities, a prominent licensed digital asset platform and a central part of OSL Group (listed as 863.HK), issued a press release to announce that it had been selected as the first virtual asset trading and sub-custodian partner by China Asset Management (Hong Kong) aka “ChinaAMC (HK)”. OSL said this collaboration is pivotal for the approval and upcoming launch of ChinaAMC (HK)’s first spot Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong joins a select group of markets, including Canada, Germany, and Switzerland, that offer spot BTC and ETH ETFs. OSL’s press release went on to say that given the success of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S., which have amassed over $12.53 billion in assets, the potential for Hong Kong’s market is substantial and likely to attract considerable market interest.

In this partnership, OSL leverages its robust infrastructure to ensure a secure trading environment essential for the effective operation of the ETFs. OSL also mentioned that as the sub-custodian, it provides top-tier security and compliance with regulatory standards, offering premier custody services that safeguard the integrity and security of the managed assets.

Patrick Pan, Chairman of the Board & CEO of OSL, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration with ChinaAMC, emphasizing the significance of this milestone in the ETF landscape. He said that being chosen as the first virtual asset exchange and sub-custodian partner not only underscores the high regard for OSL’s capabilities but also highlights their commitment to promoting the advancement of digital asset investments in Hong Kong.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin and Ethereum are trading at around $66,509 (up 2.7%) and $3,244 (up 5.0%), respectively.

Source: TradingView
Source: TradingView

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