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Private Banks Lure Asia’s Ultra Rich to Metaverse

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The private banking arm of HSBC is launching a discretionary managed portfolio for metaverse opportunities for high net worth (HNW) and ultra-high net worth (UHNW) professional investor and accredited investor clients in Asia.

Managed by HSBC Asset Management and focusing on infrastructure, computing, virtualisation, experience and discovery, and human interface, the strategy “aims to capture the growth opportunities globally over the next decade arising from the development of the metaverse ecosystem”, per a press release on Wednesday.

The metaverse, or virtual worlds in which users will experience the future iteration of the internet known as Web 3.0, is estimated to reach US$800 billion globally by 2024, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

“We see many exciting opportunities in this space as companies of different backgrounds and sizes are flocking into the ecosystem. A robust stock selection and investment process are critical to identify future solution providers”, Lina Lim, regional head of discretionary and funds, investments & wealth solutions, Asia Pacific, HSBC, said.


In April 2021, a HSBC corporate media relations manager said that the bank has “no appetite for direct exposure to virtual currencies and limited appetite to facilitate products or securities that derive their value from virtual currencies”, when asked if the bank would be avoiding Coinbase’s then newly listed COIN stock.

However, last month, the UK-headquartered bank, which has a sizeable presence in Asia, said it wants to “engage and connect with sports, esports and gaming enthusiasts” in the metaverse, and acquired a plot of LAND – virtual real estate in The Sandbox for its engagement efforts.

J.P. Morgan, led by bitcoin skeptic Jamie Dimon, was the first Wall Street bank to arrive in the metaverse, launching a virtual lounge called Onyx (the name of the bank’s blockchain division) in Decentraland’s Metajuku district in February.


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