Thai firms SCB, CP Group form venture fund seeking $800mln

The companies will co-manage the fund and each contribute $100mln

  
A man walk into the Siam Commercial Bank branch in central Bangkok, Thailand, January 23, 2017.

A man walk into the Siam Commercial Bank branch in central Bangkok, Thailand, January 23, 2017.

Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom

BANGKOK - Thailand's third-largest lender Siam Commercial Bank Pcl has set up a venture capital fund with top agro-industrial conglomerate, Charoen Pokphand Group, SCB said on Wednesday, as it announces major restructuring.

The companies will co-manage the fund and each contribute $100 million, SCB chief executive Arthid Nanthawithaya told a virtual briefing.

The fund will raise money from outside investors with a target of $600 to $800 million, he said, adding that it will invest in digital assets and emerging technologies.

"Blockchain technology will change the face of multiple industries ... we are in the early days of the promising technology and its impact to various sectors," said CP Group chairman, Soopakij Chearavanont.

The announcement comes a day after SCB formed a joint venture with Thailand's top mobile operator, Advanced Info Service Pcl in an online lending platform.

The lender will also reorganise and form a new company, SCBX, which will be the "mothership", Arthid said.

SCBX will swap shares with SCB and then later be traded on the stock exchange pending shareholder approval, he added.

The new entity will give it more flexibility in new growth areas in technology and markets like Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, targeting 200 million customers by 2025, he added.

The bank's credit card, auto and data businesses will become individual companies with a view listings in the next 3-5 years.

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Martin Petty) ((chayut.setboonsarng@tr.com, Twitter: @ChayutSet; +66854849033;))


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