HSBC Holdings Plc has launched a fund for metaverse opportunities for its private banking clients in Hong Kong and Singapore, as the UK lender wades further into the $800 billion virtual reality market.
The discretionary portfolio managed by HSBC Asset Management focuses on investing in companies within the metaverse ecosystem and “aims to capture the growth opportunities globally over the next decade,” the London-based bank said in a statement.
HSBC last month made its debut in the metaverse after buying a site aimed at sports, esports and gaming enthusiasts, joining Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. in dipping its toe in the virtual universe.
The bank is pushing further into the crypto and blockchain ecosystem even as Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn has previously said the bank has no plans to start a cryptocurrency trading desk or sell digital currencies as an investment to customers.
The metaverse blends aspects of digital technologies including video-conferencing, games like Minecraft or Roblox, cryptocurrencies, email, virtual reality, social media and live-streaming.
“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,” Nicholas Dowell, portfolio manager at HSBC Asset Management in London, said in the statement.