Hang Seng forays into Metaverse; launches index-tracking firms in HK, China

Saif Naqvi
Source: Pixabay

The Hang Seng Index company, which manages Hong Kong’s largest share index, the HSI, recently launched an index that tracks 30 metaverse related companies operating in Hong Kong and China, as it looks to cash in on growing investor demand.

On Monday, the Hang Seng Indexes Company, a private entity wholly owned by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Bank, introduced the Hang Seng China Metaverse Index to track the performances of 30 metaverse-related firms in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. However, the bulk of the included firms was listed in Mainland China.

While citing metaverse concepts such as virtual reality gaming and other digital experiences, the Hang Seng Indexes Company acknowledged the space’s growing popularity among investors. The press release stated :

Daniel Wong, CEO of Hang Seng Indexes Company, said the index is designed to “help investors capture potential opportunities arising from these innovative and transformative trends in the mainland China and Hong Kong stock markets.”

Some prominent names in the index included one of the world’s largest gaming companies, Tencent and NetEase, along with Apple suppliers Goertek and Sunny Optical Technology. The index was launched on 23rd May with a base date of 31 December 2018. According to its base date, the index was down by 27% at press time.

Metaverse fears expelled?

While the metaverse has attracted major Wall Street firms of late, virtual assets of Decentraland (MANA), The Sandbox (SAND), and Axie Infinity (AXS), which are often considered a benchmark of the industry’s performance, have suffered of-late. As per Messari, MANA’s, SAND’s, and AXS’ year-to-date loss on investments expanded to 69%, 78%, and 77%, respectively.

However, despite crashes in the market, recent developments show that institutions continue to place their eggs in the crypto basket- be it NFTs, metaverse, or blockchain technology.

Yesterday, the World Economic Forum (WEF), an international lobby organization that brings in over 3,000 worldwide financial experts and decision-makers to work on the international agenda, announced plans to enter the metaverse, in collaboration with Accenture and Microsoft.

The metaverse will influence the way, people, governments, companies, and society at large think, work, interact, and communicate for the purpose of collectively addressing issues on the global agenda.” said Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the WEF.