Thailand’s SEC Greenlights Institutional Access to Bitcoin ETFs

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  • SEC reclassifies spot Bitcoin ETFs as securities, opening investment avenues.
  • Policy shift responds to demand from asset management firms for digital asset exposure.
  • Thailand strengthens stock market oversight alongside digital asset integration.

Thailand’s SEC recently updated its policies to allow private funds to delve into spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) available on U.S. exchanges. However, this new avenue is exclusively available to institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals, following the green light given to spot Bitcoin ETFs by the U.S. SEC. These ETFs, now considered securities rather than digital assets, open a new era for Thai securities firms.

The decision was announced on Monday by the SEC’s secretary-general, Pornanong Budsaratragoon, signaling a progressive shift in Thailand’s approach to digital asset investments. This is a timely move as Bitcoin’s value is currently around its all-time high, making it an attractive period for potential investors.

With the revised SEC Act, securities companies can now provide trading services for assets that are considered securities. This reclassification of spot Bitcoin ETFs as securities paves the way for a broader investment spectrum. The initiative responds to persistent requests from asset management firms for authorization to invest in digital assets, particularly Bitcoin and its spot ETFs. 

However, the regulations governing asset management firms’ investments did not previously encompass digital asset ETFs. The SEC’s adjustment of these rules is a response to unlocking investments in spot Bitcoin ETFs through private funds. This regulatory update aims to cater to the demands of asset management and securities firms’ clients, who are keen on diversifying their investment portfolios with digital assets.

Besides promoting digital asset investments, the SEC board has also approved initiatives that strengthen the supervisory infrastructure and listing rules proposed by the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). These measures are designed to restore investor trust through tight control of short-selling transactions, naked shorts, program trading, high-frequency trading, and attempts to limit stock price variability.

This regulatory change underlines Thailand’s focus on integrating digital assets into its financial system. It ensures a regulated and secure environment for investors keen on exploring emerging digital financial products.

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