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Thailand’s SEC approves crypto ETF investments
Institutional investors and UHNWIs allowed to invest in spot bitcoin ETFs listed on US exchanges
Patricia Chiu 22 Mar 2024

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reversed an earlier decision to completely ban crypto exchange-traded funds, and is now allowing institutional investors and ultra-high-net-worth individuals to buy them.

Last week, SEC secretary general Pornanong Budsaratragoon told local reporters that the two kinds of investors will be allowed to invest in spot bitcoin ETFs listed on US exchanges, after Thai asset management firms sought the regulator’s permission to gain exposure to more digital assets. 

“Asset management firms asked the SEC for them to have exposure in digital assets, especially bitcoin and spot bitcoin ETFs, but we need to consider carefully whether to allow asset management firms to invest in digital assets directly due to the high risk,” Pornanong says.

To be able to invest in bitcoin ETFs, she says, Thai asset management firms have to manage private funds, which in turn will invest in spot bitcoin ETFs on US exchanges. 

Under the SEC rules, spot bitcoin ETFs are classified as securities rather than digital assets, thus allowing institutional investors and UHNWIs to invest in them. 

Meanwhile, the regulator is studying whether to allow retail investors to invest in bitcoin ETFs.

The SEC move comes as the price of bitcoin hit a new record high of US$73,634 last week. It was trading on Friday (March 21) around US$67,000.

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