Spot Bitcoin, Ether ETFs Get Official Approval in Hong Kong; 'Potential Fee War' Unfolding, Says Analyst

One of the issuers waived management fees for the first six months, undercutting rival offerings.

AccessTimeIconApr 24, 2024 at 4:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 24, 2024 at 4:40 p.m. UTC
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  • Hong Kong regulators approved ETFs by Harvest Global Investments, China Asset Management and a jointly managed product of Bosera Asset Management and HashKey Capital.
  • The products could start trading on April 30, Bloomberg reported
  • Management fees of the ETFs are lower than previously thought, one analyst noted
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  • Hong Kong’s market regulator has officially approved the first batch of crypto-related spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs), a first for the city and a move that could establish it as Asia’s leading digital-asset hub and unleash further growth in the sector.

    The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) gave the nod Tuesday to spot-based bitcoin and ether ETFs by asset managers Harvest Global Investments, China Asset Management (ChinaAMC) and a consortium of Bosera Asset Management and HashKey Capital, according to the regulator's website.

    The funds could start trading on April 30, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Eric Balchunas said Wednesday, adding that the management fees are lower on average than previously expected.

    James Seyffart, senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, noted a "potential fee war" unfolding between issuers, with Harvest waiving all fees for the first six months. After the initial period, it will charge 0.3% for both its spot BTC and ETH funds, undercutting the Bosera-HashKey funds' 0.6% and ChinaAMC's 0.99% management fees.

    The approval comes after U.S. regulators three months ago greenlit the first spot-based bitcoin ETFs in that country, a major breakthrough for the crypto industry that expanded the investor base for the largest and oldest crypto asset and dominated the digital asset market narrative for months. Led by global asset management giant BlackRock's offering, the funds have since amassed over $12 billion in net inflows,, helping propel BTC one month ago to a fresh all-time high price over $73,000.

    The Hong Kong-listed spot crypto ETFs are another key step towards making crypto assets more accessible to traditional investors globally, but the impact will likely not replicate the success of the U.S.-based offerings, analysts told CoinDesk earlier.

    The issuers whose products were approved in Hong Kong are significant players regionally, but are dwarfed by their U.S. counterparts, some of whom have multiple trillion dollars of assets under management.

    China Asset Management, for example,had just $266 billion AUM at the end of last year, while Harvest Global Investments AUM stood at $207 billion, according to their respective company websites.

    Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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    Krisztian  Sandor

    Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.

    Amitoj Singh

    Amitoj Singh is a CoinDesk reporter.

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