2021: The year of mergers and acquisitions that shook the markets

In one of the most-watched acquisition deals of 2021, Siam Commercial Bank Pcl (SCBX) on November 2 announced it was taking a 51 percent stake in Bitkub Online Company for a hefty Bt17.85 billion.

The deal with Bitkub Capital Group Holding Co will make SCB Securities Co (SCBS) the majority shareholder of Bitkub when the transaction is completed early next year.

Bitkub Capital Group CEO and founder Jirayut Srupsrisopa claimed that Bitkub’s market capitalization was Bt35 billion.

Founded in 2018 with a registered capital of Bt290 million, Bitkub is one of Thailand’s few fast-growing startups and has become a unicorn within a few years.

Bitkub reported total digital asset trading worth Bt1.03 trillion to the Securities Exchange Commission for the first nine months of this year. The volume represents a 92 percent market share. Bitkub’s total revenue for the period was Bt3.3 billion with a net profit of Bt1.5 billion.

The deal with SCBX confirms Bitkub as one of Thailand’s few unicorns, and promises a bright future for other startups looking to scale up their business in the country and find potential partners.

It also reflects a period of consolidation in the financial market where traditional banks have been disrupted by financial technology (fintech) startups. Not wanting to be left behind, banks now have jumped into the fray to ensure their survival and tap business opportunities in the emerging fintech age.

The multibillion-baht deal has also fuelled people’s interest in cryptocurrencies as the uncharted markets have grown rapidly, both globally and locally. At the same time, the deal and a subsequent marketing event that promoted the use of crypto tokens as payments for goods and services has kindled concerns in the Bank of Thailand. The central bank is considering measures to limit the scope of use of digital assets, so as to not undermine the baht, especially related to payments.

Some value investors, however, believe the SCBX-Bitkub deal might be too expensive. In their estimates, Thailand’s crypto market may have passed or is possibly about to pass its peak in terms of investor interest.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service

Post Author: tmadmin