Today Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Thailand’s second largest bank, announced its Securities subsidiary will acquire 51% of cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub for Thai Baht 17,850 million ($537 million), subject to regulatory approvals.
Bitkub is locally regulated by Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and has a dominant market share of 92%, according to SCB. For the nine months to the end of September, the digital assets exchange had trading volumes of one trillion Thai Baht ($30 billion), revenues of THB 3,279 million ($99 million) and net profit of THB 1,533 million ($46 million).
The transaction is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2022.
In October, the bank announced a radical restructuring, positioning itself as a technology firm and creating a new holding company SCBX. It also set up a joint venture investment fund with Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group). for blockchain, digital assets and FinTech. No mention was made of CP Group for today’s announcement.
At the time, CEO and Chairman Arthid Nanthawithaya said, “It is crucial to quickly enter this new arena of competition in order to survive in the next 3-5 years.”
The bank also has an existing fintech venture subsidiary SCB 10X, which has invested in Ripple, custody tech firm Fireblocks, investment bank Sygnum, and centralized crypto lender BlockFi. Today it was announced that it also participated in a funding round for NFT-based metaverse game The SandBox.