HSBC Plans Metaverse Fund for Rich Asian Clients


Key Takeaways

  • Global banking giant HSBC has announced the launch of its first Metaverse fund.
  • The Metaverse Discretionary Strategy fund will be offered exclusively to the bank’s wealthy Asian clients and invest in companies building Metaverse experiences and infrastructure.
  • The announcement comes less than a month after the British bank bought virtual real estate in The Sandbox.

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HSBC, one of the world’s largest multinational banks and financial service providers, has launched a Metaverse-focused fund for its wealthy Asian clients.

HSBC Doubles Down on the Metaverse

HSBC has signaled that it sees potential in the Metaverse, and it’s positioning itself at the forefront of the fast-growing space. 

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The British banking giant announced Wednesday that it had launched a fund dedicated to capturing Metaverse growth opportunities exclusive to its highest net worth private banking clients in Asia. The Metaverse Discretionary Strategy portfolio, managed by HSBC Asset Management, will focus on investing across five segments of the growing Metaverse ecosystem: infrastructure, computing, interface, virtualization, and experience and discovery.

“The Metaverse is seen by many as the next stage in the evolution of the Internet,” Nicholas Dowell, portfolio manager at HSBC Asset Management in London, said in a statement. HSBC’s regional head of discretionary and funds in Asia, Lina Lim, said that while the Metaverse is still in its nascent stages, the ecosystem is “rapidly evolving” and that the bank sees “many exciting opportunities” as companies of different sizes and backgrounds flock to the space.

HSBC has indicated that it’s ready to double down on Metaverse hype in recent weeks. The bank’s first public foray into the space came last month when it bought virtual real estate in one of crypto’s leading Metaverse games, The Sandbox. It said that it purchased the digital land to increase brand awareness with younger generations and engage with a global audience of sports, esports, and gaming enthusiasts. Its fund, however, won’t be focused on purchasing NFTs or in-game Metaverse assets but rather on stocks in companies building the infrastructure and leading the charge within the space.

The Metaverse is an umbrella term for a melding range of Internet-based worlds built using virtual reality, augmented reality, and blockchain technologies where users can work, play, and communicate with each other digitally in a more immersive manner. Many companies have placed bets on the Metaverse becoming the next big thing of the following decade and have pivoted their businesses toward capturing the growing number of users entering the space. Perhaps the most notable of these pivots was Facebook’s rebrand to Meta last October, which highlighted the company’s shift towards the emerging movement and kickstarted a trend among other major companies looking to jump onto the bandwagon. 

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Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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