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HSBC's private banking clients in Asia will be able to invest in a new metaverse-focused investment vehicle.
The bank said on Wednesday that it would launch a new fund dubbed the "Metaverse Discretionary Strategy portfolio" that will invest in five critical components of the metaverse ecosystem: infrastructure, computing, virtualization, experience, and discovery, and interface.
The fund, which HSBC claims is targeted at high- and ultra-high-net-worth professional investors and accredited investors in Hong Kong and Singapore will be managed by the bank's asset management division. "The metaverse ecosystem, while still at its early stage, is rapidly evolving," said Lina Lim, HSBC's Asia Pacific regional head of discretionary and funds for investments and wealth solutions. "We see many exciting opportunities in this space as companies of different backgrounds and sizes are flocking into the ecosystem."
HSBC’s entrance into metaverse investing may have been presaged by its recent acquisition of digital land in The Sandbox, one of the ecosystem’s most popular virtual worlds. The financial behemoth partnered with the company and became Sandbox’s first financial services provider.
Sebastien Borget, The Sandbox’s COO and co-founder, stated:
“We’re pleased to see large, trusted institutions such as HSBC join The Sandbox open metaverse and embrace the culture of Web3, connecting with users through entertainment, gaming, and user-generated content. We believe this is the beginning of a broader adoption of Web3 and the metaverse by institutions driving brand experiences and engagement within this new ecosystem.”
Naturally, HSBC was just the second large bank to have an official presence in the metaverse. In February, JPMorgan issued a whitepaper on the metaverse and news about the bank’s new Decentraland lounge.
“The metaverse will likely infiltrate every sector in some way in the coming years, with the market opportunity estimated at over $1 trillion in yearly revenues,” JPMorgan stated. Rather than opening outlets in every city, the bank said, large retail companies will instead establish a worldwide hub in the metaverse capable of serving millions of clients from a single site. Additionally, they stated that the metaverse would change “gaming, sports betting and gambling from cash to crypto,”