HONG KONG, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Hang Seng Indexes Company said on Monday it had granted licences to two Chinese asset managers to launch investment products linked to the Hang Seng Index in mainland China, marking the first such products under the Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect scheme.
China Asset Management and China Southern Asset Management have been allowed to sell exchange-traded funds (ETFs) under the landmark scheme and will start their public offerings on Tuesday.
A trading link that lets Hong Kong and Shanghai investors buy and sell shares on each other's bourses went live on Nov. 17, the latest step towards opening China's tightly controlled capital markets.
However, participation in the scheme was much lower than expected in the past few weeks when the average daily utilisation of quotas for northbound and southbound investment stood at around 25 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
The new products offered by the two asset managers will enable more retail investors in China to enter Hong Kong's stock market, given that the investment threshold of ETFs is much lower than the 500,000 yuan ($80,000) that is required to use the stock connect scheme.
The two new ETFs will bring the number of exchange-traded products linked to indexes in the Hang Seng Family of Indexes to 31, with listings on 17 stock exchanges across the world and a total of more than $17.8 billion in assets under management.
Reporting by Michelle Chen; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi