Siam Commercial Bank, one of the largest banks in Thailand, is acquiring a 51% stake in a cryptocurrency exchange. The acquisition will help the bank “create new growth value in the long term amid a new financial world,” said the CEO of the bank.
Thailand’s oldest lender, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), announced Tuesday that its subsidiary, Siam Commercial Securities Company Ltd. (SCBS), is acquiring a 51% stake in local crypto exchange Bitkub for 17.85 billion baht ($536 million). SCB is the country’s fourth-largest lender by assets.
The acquisition will help the SCB Group “create new growth value in the long term amid a new financial world,” CEO Arthid Nanthawithaya said, adding:
In the past 1-2 years, the digital asset industry, one of the financial industries of the future world, has grown rapidly, and it could grow further in the long term.
The deal is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022, pending regulatory approval from relevant agencies, such as the Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Bitkub founder and CEO Jirayut Srupsrisopa commented:
We needed to elevate Bitkub to the global level, so we turned to a strong partner like SCB to help us achieve our target faster and more sustainably.
Several other Thai banks and financial institutions have made inroads into crypto assets.
In August, the Bank of Ayudhya participated in a $41 million investment round in Thai-based crypto exchange Zipmex. One of the exchange’s investors is Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s venture capital firm, B Capital Group.
Another major bank in Thailand, Kasikornbank, rolled out a service for digital token offerings earlier this year. Some companies, such as financial consultancy firm Brooker Group, have made cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, a part of their investment strategies.
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