HSBC debuts metaverse investment fund in Asia: Report

Once known as a skeptical institution of crypto, HSBC originally announced its first major move into metaverse in mid-March.

Global banking giant HSBC Holdings has rolled out its metaverse investment product for wealthy clients in Singapore and Hong Kong, according to multiple media reports.

Called Metaverse Discretionary Strategy portfolio, the new product is managed by HSBC’s asset management arm, HSBC Asset Management. The fund aims to provide high net worth professional investors and accredited investor clients with exposure to new investment opportunities in the metaverse industry.

According to a Wednesday report by Reuters, HSBC’s metaverse fund will focus on investment within five major segments in the metaverse ecosystem, including infrastructure, computing, virtualization, experience and interface.

“We see many exciting opportunities in this space as companies of different backgrounds and sizes are flocking into the ecosystem,” HSBC Asia Pacific’s Lina Lim said.

Nicholas Dowell, portfolio manager at HSBC Asset Management in London, reportedly noted that the concept of the metaverse is important for HSBC as a major milestone of the evolution of the internet, stating:

“The metaverse is seen by many as the next stage in the evolution of the internet, with the effect it has on our daily lives expected to be as impactful as we saw in the early nineties.”

HSBC did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. This article will be updated pending new information.

On March 16, HSBC officially announced plans to buy a piece of land in the virtual reality world within the blockchain game The Sandbox for an undisclosed amount. Managing $2.4 trillion in assets, HSBC is specifically planning to focus on financial literacy offerings and work sports partners, brand ambassadors and Animoca Brands to co-create educational experiences.

By moving into the metaverse industry, HSBC became one of the world’s first major banks to open its own space in virtual reality. In February, the investment bank JPMorgan became the first major bank to join the metaverse by launching a virtual lounge in blockchain-based Decentraland in order to capitalize on a $1-trillion market opportunity.

Related: Crypto trading to move to the Metaverse, says developer-focused study

While progressing with the metaverse adoption, HSBC has not been a big fan of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC). In September 2021, HSBC Group CEO Noel Quinn outlined the firm’s commitment to supporting central bank digital currencies while stressing skepticism over risks associated with cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. He previously argued that HSBC was not interested in running a crypto trading desk or offering any crypto investment services to its clients.

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