Spot virtual asset ETFs start trading on HKEX

Bosera International, Harvest Global Investments and China Asset Management have launched ETFs for Bitcoin and Ethereum on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) has welcomed the listing of Asia's first spot virtual asset (VA) ETFs on April 30, after the exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for Bitcoin and Ethereum (also known as Ether) were approved by the Hong Kong government. 

Harvest Global Investments has launched two blue-chip Asia’s cryptocurrency spot ETFs — the Harvest Bitcoin Spot ETF and the Harvest Ether Spot ETF, both listed on HKEX, according to a media release. 

At the listing ceremony, Tongli Han, chief executive and chief investment officer of Harvest Global Investments, stated that Hong Kong, as an international financial center, has been committed to promoting the development and ecosystem of digital assets since the declaration of virtual asset development in Hong Kong was issued in October 2022.

China Asset Management (Hong Kong) also listed its Bitcoin and Ether spot ETFs on the HKEX. As of the market close on April 30, ChinaAMC Bitcoin ETF ended with $5.3 million in volume, while ChinaAMC Ether ETF saw $1.8 million of volume.

By the closing bell, ChinaAMC Bitcoin ETF had secured $121.7 million of asets under management (AUM), and the ChinaAMC Ether ETF had $20.4 million AUM.

Bosera Asset Management (International) and HashKey Capital also launched the Bosera HashKey Bitcoin ETFand the Bosera HashKey Ether ETF (known as Bosera Hashkey Spot Virtual Asset ETFs) on the HKEX.

The two ETFs track the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate, Asia Pacific Variant and the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate, Asia Pacific Variant, respectively. They also have a coin-based subscription mechanism, which allows investors to directly use Bitcoin and Ether to subscribe for corresponding ETF shares. 

Brian Roberts, HKEX head of equities product development, said: "The introduction of spot VA ETFs in Hong Kong is the latest exciting addition to HKEX's diverse and vibrant ETP ecosystem, providing investors with access to a new asset class. Following the success of VA Futures ETFs, the listing of Asia's first spot VA ETFs will further enhance the product diversity and liquidity of the Hong Kong ETP market."

Roberts added: "We look forward to continue working closely with our stakeholders with a view to launching more products to our international marketplace."

Investor interest in virtual asset ETFs has grown since VA Futures ETFs were first launched in late 2022.

Exchange traded products (ETPs), including ETFs and leveraged and inverse products (L&I products), are one of the fastest-growing segments in HKEX's markets. These include Asia Pacific's first Saudi Arabian ETF, Hong Kong's listings of covered call ETFs, part of the 16 new ETFs introduced in 2023 and in the first quarter of 2024, bringing the total to 179.

Meanwhile, the HKEX has appointed Carlson Tong as its new chairman succeeding the reitiring Laura Cha. Cha has been appointed a senior advisor to the board from April 25, 2024 to April 25, 2025. Tong has spent over 30 years with KPMG. 

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