Hong Kong spot crypto ETFs to start trading next week

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows representation of Bitcoin cryptocurrency

(Reuters) -Hong Kong-listed spot bitcoin and ether exchange traded funds aim to start trading on April 30, three asset managers that provide the products said on Wednesday.

The financial hub is set to be Asia's first to accept cryptocurrency products as a mainstream investment tool, and the products have also received official regulatory approval from the Securities and Futures Commission, according to the Hong Kong markets watchdog's website.

Cryptocurrency is banned in mainland China, but Hong Kong has been promoting itself as a global digital asset hub, part of a drive to boost its attraction as a financial centre.

Several leading international crypto exchanges and funds at times in the past decade have had major operations in Hong Kong, though there have also been periods when many have left, with industry players blaming regulatory requirements.

The approval of the new Hong Kong products comes just three months after the U.S. launched its first ETFs to track spot bitcoin. Those ETFs have already drawn roughly $12 billion in net inflows, and contributed to a surge in bitcoin's price earlier this year.

Hong Kong units of China Asset Management, Harvest Fund Management and Bosera Asset Management, the latter in partnership with local cryptocurrency firm Hashkey, said they aimed to launch their products by April 30.

Bitcoin has gained more than 50% this year and hit an all-time high of $73,803 in March. It was trading at around $65,000 on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Summer Zhen in Hong Kong; writing by Alun John; editing by Amanda Cooper and Jonathan Oatis)