Australian bank ANZ is understood to be planning to list its first exchange-traded funds in Hong Kong next year, after its ETF range debuted in Australia in June.

That follows ANZ’s hire of Kris Walesby, who became Sydney-based head of ANZ ETFs on October 10, and Hong Kong-based Frank Henze, who joined in May to set up an ETF platform as Asia head of ETFs.

The Australian bank has linked up with ETF Securities to issue ETFs both in Australia and more widely in Asia, a spokeswoman for the joint venture confirmed. “Any ETFs issued by ANZ would be through the joint venture, ANZ ETFS,” she said.

ANZ announced in May that it would become the first Australian bank to enter the ETF market, unveiling Danny Laidler and Adam Smith as co-heads of ANZ ETFS. Laidler and Smith both left ANZ ETFS at the end September to be replaced by Walesby.

Smith started as chief operating officer at OzForex at the beginning of October. ANZ ETFS’s spokeswoman declined to comment where Laidler has moved to.

Walesby was previously London-based head of ETF distribution as head of capital markets for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa with Invesco PowerShares. He made the move to Sydney in October.

The ANZ role is Henze's first since leaving State Street last year, where he was head of ETFs. 

ANZ ETFS listed six ETFs on Australia’s stock exchange on June 12.

Among those, the ANZ ETFS S&P 500 High Yield Low Volatility ETF has attracted the most assets under management (A$3.3 million) since launch, followed by the ANZ ETFS S&P/ASX 100 ETF (A$1.9 million), ANZ ETFS Physical US Dollar ETF (A$1.05 million), ANZ ETFS Physical Renminbi ETF (A$1.03 million), ANZ ETFS S&P/ASX 300 High Yield Plus ETF (A$0.96 million), and ANZ ETFS Physical Gold ETF (A$0.808 million).

ETFs that track international indices have seen the highest number of launches on Australia’s stock exchange – a total of 45 to date. That category is followed by commodities, which have seen 22 ETF launches lead by ANZ’s joint venture partner ETF Securities, which already has 15 commodities-focused ETFs listed on ASX.

ANZ ETFS's spokeswoman confirmed that ETF Securities’s ETFs will continue to be marketed separately from ANZ ETFS’s and remain outside the joint venture.

ETF Securities also already has a presence in Hong Kong, where it has listed three commodities-focused ETFs.

HK's coming ETF boom 

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission is set to quicken the pace of fund approvals – including ETFs – from November 9.

One industry source said she expected Hong Kong’s first inverse – or short – and leveraged ETFs to launch before the end of 2015.

Asian markets that have approved inverse and leveraged ETFs – including Korea, Japan, and Taiwan – have seen big increases in ETF trading volumes, as investors typically trade in and out of these products over short periods of time.

Fund managers are showing more interest in this area. Amundi Asset Management plans to enter Hong Kong’s ETF market, as reported by AsianInvestor in March. In July, Yvonne Ng joined the French fund house from Commerzbank as North Asia head of ETFs, indexing, and smart beta sales. 

Korea’s Mirae Asset Global Investments said it was planning more ETFs and related hires in Hong Kong. That is despite the departure of its Hong Kong head of ETFs and questions being raised over the viability of most of its ETFs in the city.