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Hong Kong Asset Managers Together Apply for Spot Bitcoin ETF With SFC

Two asset management firms based in Hong Kong have jointly submitted an application for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). This initiative coincides with the regulator’s preparations to potentially approve ‘in-kind’ BTC spot ETFs in the second quarter of 2024.

VSFG and Value Partners, the two asset managers, made the announcement last week regarding their collaborative effort to introduce a spot Bitcoin ETF. With a strategic aim to seize the first-mover advantage, they intend to offer this investment opportunity to both retail and institutional investors.

June Wong, CEO of Value Partners, expressed confidence in their joint venture, highlighting the combined expertise of Value Partners in ETF management and VSFG’s extensive experience. She emphasized their commitment to expanding investment options for clients, particularly in virtual assets, to capitalize on market opportunities in this dynamic and evolving landscape.

Notably, VSFG had previously marked its pioneering status in Hong Kong by launching the region’s first regulated Bitcoin fund in June 2020.

Earlier in January, Harvest Global Investments, a Chinese asset management company, also applied to the SFC to introduce a Bitcoin spot ETF, alongside Venture Smart Financial Holdings, a Hong Kong-based firm.

Hong Kong’s Spot Bitcoin ETF Race

Hong Kong is trailing closely behind the United States in the approval process for Bitcoin spot ETFs to be traded publicly. In December 2023, regulatory bodies in the city-state, including the SFC and HKMA, announced their readiness to consider applications for cryptocurrency ETFs.

Yat Siu, chairman of web3 investor Animoca Brands, noted that the SFC is inclined towards broadening access to digital assets. Siu further asserted that a spot Bitcoin ETF would likely face minimal controversy.

Earlier this year, Livio Weng, COO of HashKey Group, disclosed that approximately 10 fund companies are preparing to launch a crypto spot ETF in Hong Kong.

On January 26, the Hong Kong subsidiary of Chinese asset management behemoth Harvest Fund Management submitted an application for a spot Bitcoin ETF. This submission reportedly marked the country’s inaugural application of its kind.

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