KB Bank set to launch South Korea’s first-ever crypto investment fund
According to local news, Kookmin Bank (KB) is on its way to becoming the first bank in South Korea that offers crypto investment products to retail investors.
KB made an official announcement on February 21 about having formed a ‘Digital Asset Management Preparatory Committee’ for determining product and strategy capabilities regarding digital assets and artificial intelligence investment funds. The bank is expected to launch crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as well as futures products. The committee would also assess risk and compliance issues for the investment funds.
The plans have been confirmed by KB’s Head of Index Quant Management Honggun Kim in an official press release from the bank. He said that the bank would launch a virtual asset-themed equity fund, etc., and the team also plans on publishing periodicals.
KB Financial Group is South Korea’s largest by net profit, having about $520 billion in total assets, last recorded on September 2021, as per data from research platform MacroTrends.
The current plan of KB bank is of launching a crypto investment index fund in addition to a fund that makes usage of an Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO), which is also known as outsourced investment management, for providing guarantees on principal investments. The OCIO fund would also be utilized in retirement pensions.
Such OCIO that has the potential of being considered include Grayscale and Fidelity Asset Management, each of which offers crypto investment funds.
Fidelity Canada has launched a spot Bitcoin ETF in December 2021 though such a product still awaits approval in the United States.
For launching a new investment fund available to its customers, KB has been responding to a market that is becoming increasingly receptive to crypto and nonfungible token (NFT) investments. Its close competitor, Shinhan Bank, has also reportedly dedicated an entire section of its mobile banking app for assisting customers in managing their NFT collections on Klaytn, which is the country’s leading blockchain.
KB is now following the trial of Singapore’s megabank DBS as it recently announces new retail crypto investment products. CEO of DBS Bank, Piyush Gupta had stated on February 14 that the bank would be working to scale its crypto operations in the year 2022.