Switzerland-headquartered Seba Bank expanded into Hong Kong with a new office as the Chinese region attempts to reclaim its status as a crypto hub.
The Hong Kong office will be a center for Seba's APAC growth plans, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday. Hong Kong recently outlined plans to become a crypto hub again as rival Singapore appears to be pivoting to stricter regulation. Hong Kong plans to widen the scope of crypto assets available in the city, while also exploring how to open the crypto market to retail investors.
"With a considerable pedigree as an international financial center, as well as a supportive regulatory approach to cryptocurrencies, Hong Kong is cementing its position as a global leader in cryptocurrencies," Seba Bank CEO Franz Bergmueller said in the statement.
Ludovic Shum, managing director at Seba Hong Kong, will oversee the new office. Shum previously worked for Credit Suisse, HSBC, Merrill Lynch and Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Hong Kong's financial regulator, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The SFC recently said it is planning to allow certain crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to be sold to investors in Hong Kong and will also launch a public consultation on potentially allowing retail investors to trade virtual assets (VA). "We recognise the increasing acceptance of VA as a vehicle for investment allocation by global investors, be they institutional or individual," the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau said at the time. The SFC believes the risks of crypto exposure have become ''manageable'' with proper guardrails.
Seba Hong Kong plans to initially focus on market research and consultancy services. Its offices in Switzerland provide a suite of regulated banking and investment services, including trading, structured products, bank accounts, cards, credit, staking, and crypto and NFT custody.
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