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May 2024
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Hong Kong regulator okays city’s first spot bitcoin ETFs

bitcoin ETF
By Hui Ching-hoo   
April 17, 2024

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission has approved the city’s first batch of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds.

At least three asset managers, all units of China fund houses, have received the go-ahead to launch the ETFs.

The Hong Kong unit of China Asset Management announced the greenlight from the regulator in a statement on April 15.

The company says it is collaborating with virtual asset service provider OSL Digital Securities and custodian bank BOCI-Prudential Trustee to develop spot bitcoin and ether ETFs.

The Hong Kong units of China fund houses Harvest Fund Management and Bosera Asset Management have also secured approvals to launch spot bitcoin and ether ETFs, according to a Reuters report published on the same date, citing statements from the firms.

The two companies did not immediately respond to questions from Asia Asset Management (AAM).

It’s not clear when the ETFs will be available to investors.

The approval for spot cryptocurrency ETFs comes over a year after the SFC gave the go-ahead to local fund house CSOP Asset Management for the city’s first bitcoin and ether futures ETFs. The funds were launched in January 2023.

Spot ETFs will bring greater regulatory scrutiny to bitcoin investment products, bolster their security and stability, and create a more complete ecosystem for bitcoin assets, according to David Chen, director of investment research at Hong Kong securities firm Tiger Brokers.

“Additionally, bitcoin ETFs provide investors with a tool to diversify their portfolios, enabling more flexible asset allocation and opening doors for future innovation of derivative products,” he tells AAM.