August 8, 2022

Thailand’s oldest financial institution is taking its time to think about the settlement it made to buy the nation’s largest cryptocurrency alternate final 12 months. 

Bangkok-listed SCB X agreed to amass a majority stake in Bitkub On-line for 17.9 billion baht ($490 million) on the peak of the crypto markets final Nov, with the intention of closing the deal earlier this 12 months.

But, amid conversations with regulators, SCB says there may be nonetheless due diligence to be carried out. Final month, the Securities and Change Fee fined the corporate and its chief government for creating “synthetic buying and selling quantity” on its platform.

The corporate and 5 officers had been additionally fined by the regulator in Might, because of breaching pointers when the corporate listed its personal digital cash. SCB has not proposed a completion date for the proposed acquisition of Bitkub. 

SCB ambitions

Heightened regulatory scrutiny going through Thailand’s cryptocurrency trade could also be tempering SCB’s ambitions to change into a market chief in digital property. Nonetheless, the deal’s delay has induced some to query the 115-year-old monetary group’s intention to change into a regional fintech powerhouse. 

“Bitkub is a key step for SCB to realize its growth into digital asset and fintech companies,” mentioned Asia Plus Securities analyst Therdsak Thaveeteeratham. “The delay additional raises doubt concerning the deal completion. This is able to be a major blow to SCB’s regional tech ambition.”

Regardless of any potential setback relating to the pending Bitkub deal, the banking group is primed to comply with by way of with its growth into fintech, based on Bloomberg Intelligence. In response to a current report, the group noticed broad-based digital adoption within the first quarter for customers, loans and income. 

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“SCB could proceed to concentrate on high-growth fintech enterprise,” mentioned analyst Rena Kwok. “Its peer-leading digital transformation and foray into high-growth fintech house may provide medium-term earnings drivers.”

Earlier this 12 months, Thailand’s securities regulator banned the usage of cryptocurrencies as a way of fee. The rule, which got here into impact April 1, additionally bars crypto operators from promoting the usage of cryptocurrencies as a way of fee.


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