Thailand’s 4th-largest bank buys $103M stake in crypto exchange

K-bank acquired the crypto exchange via its subsidiary, Unita Capital, which also introduced three new entities for digital asset management

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Kasikornbank, also referred to as K-Bank, on Monday announced its acquisition of a majority stake in the parent firm of local crypto exchange Satang.

In a filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, K-Bank President Pipit Aneaknithi disclosed that the acquisition, worth 3.7 billion Thai baht ($102.8 million), was made through the bank’s fully-owned subsidiary, Unita Capital. 

Following the takeover, Satang will renamed to Orbix Trade Company Limited, the filing showed.

Operating in Thailand since 2017, Satang claims to be the country’s longest-standing crypto exchange.

According to the filing, Unita Capital has also established three new subsidiaries: Orbix Custodian for digital asset custody, Orbix Invest for digital asset fund management and Orbix Technology & Innovation Company Limited for blockchain infrastructure development.

K-bank ranks as Thailand’s fourth-largest bank in terms of assets, per Nikkei Asia. 

Established on June 8, 1945, the bank operates in commercial banking, securities, among other sectors.

In 2003, it transitioned from its former English name, Thai Farmers Bank, to its current name, mirroring its Thai pronunciation. 

With a presence in over 1,000 locations domestically, the bank also has overseas branches, primarily in China.

The bank’s crypto exchange acquisition comes about a month after it launched a $100 million tech venture fund focused on artificial intelligence, Web3 and deep tech startups.

Meanwhile, its competitor, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), established a blockchain and digital asset subsidiary, SCB 10X, in early 2021, according to Ledger Insight.

Shortly after, SCB initiated a $600 million joint venture, the Global Disruptive Technology Venture Capital Fund, and rebranded the parent company as SCBx. 

SCB further pursued an over $500 million acquisition for a majority share in Thailand-based exchange Bitkub, but had to back out when local authorities called for changes from the exchange.


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