siam commercial thailand bitkub 535m 1b nguyenbloomberg

Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank has agreed to acquire Bangkok-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub Online in a deal worth THB17.85bn ($535m).

Siam Commercial Bank said it bought a 51% stake in Bitkub Online from Bitkub Capital Group Holdings.

A survey conducted by data firm Statista in early 2021 showed that 72% of respondents who traded cryptocurrencies in Thailand used Bitkub, beating the likes of Binance and Satang Pro.

“New financial world”

Thailand’s oldest bank which has been in business for over 100 years said the Bitkub acquisition “will help the SCB Group create new growth value in the long term amid a new financial world.”

“The move is in line with SCB Group’s strategy to upgrade to a financial technology group, meeting new consumer needs and entering a new competitive arena that will emerge very quickly in the next three to five years,” added Siam Commercial Bank chief executive Arthid Nanthawithaya.

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Siam Commercial Bank said the deal is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022. Shares in the bank closed 1.9% higher on Wednesday.

Soaring popularity

The soaring popularity of cryptocurrencies has seen banks from around the globe offer cryptocurrency trading facilities to clients.

On Wednesday, Australia’s largest bank Commonwealth Bank of Australia became the first bank in the country to offer cryptocurrency trading to customers.

Singapore’s DBS Group has also been offering a cryptocurrency trading platform to institutional investors and accredited investors since December 2020.

Read more: Australia’s largest bank CBA to offer crypto trading services

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