Hong Kong’s Spot Bitcoin ETFs To Attract $1 Billion: Bloomberg

Hong Kong’s Spot Bitcoin ETFs To Attract $1 Billion: Bloomberg

Hong Kong is poised to become a leader with its new spot Bitcoin and Ether Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), but how can they fare up against their US peers which have drawn more than $28 billion in the first three months? Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas has updated his projections, now estimating these ETFs could attract up to $1 billion in assets under management within the first two years of operation, doubling his previous forecast of $500 million.

Why Hong Kong’s Spot Bitcoin ETFs Will Lag US Peers

This optimistic forecast is tempered by certain regulatory challenges, particularly affecting potential investors from Mainland China. As Balchunas detailed via X (formerly Twitter), “Mainland China investors probably won’t be eligible to buy Hong Kong-listed spot Bitcoin and Ether ETFs as they are barred from buying virtual assets.”

This statement was based on insights from Rebecca Sin of Bloomberg, who emphasized that while retail investors from Mainland China could theoretically utilize their $50,000 annual remittance quota to invest in these ETFs, this channel remains largely underexploited due to regulatory and practical complexities. For institutional investors, the prospects are even more stringent, with little likelihood that the Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) quota would be approved for virtual asset ETFs given the current regulatory environment.

Despite these limitations, the introduction of spot Bitcoin and Ether ETFs represents a significant milestone for Hong Kong’s financial markets. Sin further clarified the broader potential impact, noting, “Hong Kong’s spot Bitcoin and Ether ETFs could gather as much as $1 billion in assets under management. However, achieving this target heavily depends on the rate of infrastructure improvements and the expansion of the ecosystem supporting these digital assets.”

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Currently, the total assets under management for Bitcoin ETFs across the Asia-Pacific region amount to $250 million, shared among five funds based in Hong Kong and Australia. CSOP’s Bitcoin Futures ETF (3066 HK) currently stands as Hong Kong’s largest Bitcoin fund, launched in late 2022 with $121 million in AUM.

The management fees for the new ETFs are projected to range between 1-2%. For comparison, CSOP’s existing Bitcoin Futures ETF and Ether Futures ETF charge a 2% management fee plus an estimated additional 2% in other expenses. In contrast, Samsung’s Bitcoin Futures ETF offers a lower fee structure at 0.95%. The fee structure is a critical element for potential investors, influencing both retail and institutional participation in these financial products.

Eric Balchunas also highlighted the broader implications for Hong Kong’s role in the global ETF market. “Now for some good news re HK, our asset estimate is now $1b in first two years (which is healthy IMO but still nowhere near the $25b that some have said) but a lot depends on infrastructure improvement. We also think this helps HK as ETF leader in Asia region,” he tweeted.

This perspective underscores Hong Kong’s strategic positioning as a burgeoning hub for cryptocurrency investments in Asia, despite stringent regulations in adjacent markets like Mainland China. With the trading set to commence on April 30, the financial community is keenly watching Hong Kong as these ETFs launch.

At press time, BTC traded at $62,401.

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