Home Business Siam Commercial Bank drops plans to buy $500 million stake in crypto exchange Bitkub

Siam Commercial Bank drops plans to buy $500 million stake in crypto exchange Bitkub

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Siam Commercial Bank drops plans to buy $500 million stake in crypto exchange Bitkub

Thailand’s oldest bank has dropped its plans first announced in November 2021 to become the majority shareholder of crypto exchange Bitkub.

In an announcement on Thursday, Siam Commercial Bank’s SCB X group said it would no longer pay 17,850 million baht – approximately $536 million as of November and $497 million at press time – to acquire a 51% stake in the Thailand-based crypto exchange. The bank raised concerns about Bitkub’s “addressing of various issues” in line with recommendations from the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission without a specific timeline.

According to SCB, the company conducted a due diligence exercise on Bitkub following the November 2021 announcement that it planned to become majority shareholder, resulting in “numerous opportunities for cooperation in various fields to develop and improve business operations” of the crypto exchange. However, its board passed a resolution to end the deal on Thursday.

“SCB X Public Company Limited and SCB Securities Co., Ltd. remain committed to their strategic plans to expand into businesses related to blockchain technology and digital assets, which will play an important role in the economy and the financial sector. Thai,” the bank said.

Siam Commercial Bank CEO Arthit Nanthawittaya originally proposed the acquisition based on the companies’ growth in digital assets since 2019 and expected long-term value. At the time, the company hinted that it was aiming to strengthen and develop the ecosystem of digital assets in Thailand.

Related: The Crypto Islands of Thailand: Working in Paradise, Part 1

In January, the SEC and the central bank of Thailand announced regulations and usage limitations on crypto with the aim of preventing the trading of the asset on unlicensed platforms. Bitkub is one of the few crypto exchanges in Thailand operating with approval from the country’s SEC, but the restrictions would have caused a delay in the transaction between the company and the SCB.