SHANGHAI, March 23 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx) plans to launch yuan-settled gold and copper futures by July, its president said on Friday, as it looks to tap growing interest in commodities from Chinese investors.
Albert Helmig also told reporters in Shanghai that the bourse would offer yuan-denominated contracts for other industrial metals in the next 12 months.
Appetite for investment in commodities has risen dramatically in China over the last few years on the back of galloping prices, which have also led to more hedging demand from some companies.
HKMEx benefits from the wall of restrictions governing Chinese derivatives trading, which prohibit Chinese nationals from participating in markets outside China and Hong Kong.
China, which keeps a tight grip on its commodities market, also limits financial institutions from investing in commodity futures without special regulatory approval.
HKMEx launched trading of U.S. dollar-settled gold <0#HKG:> and silver <0#HKS:> futures last year. (Reporting by Ruby Lian and Fayen Wong; Editing by Joseph Radford)