Hong Kong’s SFC Has Received Multiple Requests for Crypto ETFs

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In recent months, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has received “a number” of requests from local companies that want to offer crypto-related exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to their private bank and professional clients, SFC’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director Julia Leung said.

  • Speaking at Hong Kong Fintech Week, the SFC director gave a “glimpse” of the regulatory issues involved with ETFs; should retail users be allowed access to crypto ETFs through online brokers, and should they face additional restrictions compared to non-crypto ETFs.
  • However, she did not give any indication on the regulator’s decisions on ETFs.
  • The SFC is currently reviewing its regulatory regime for crypto to see if it is still “fit for purpose,” Leung said.
  • Under the regime, virtual asset service providers have to be licensed to operate in Hong Kong and can only offer services to professional investors, defined as individuals with a portfolio of over HK$8 million ($1 million) or companies with more than $5 million in total assets. SFC-regulated fund managers can invest up to 10% of their gross asset value in crypto, and can apply for a special license if they wish to invest more.
  • Last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved the first bitcoin futures ETF.
  • In August, Leung said that Hong Kong should crack down on unlicensed crypto trading.

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