Thailand Digest: Regulators approve ban on crypto lending; Flash Express partners with SC Asset

Thailand's market regulators has approved the ban on crypto lending

The stock market regulator has approved a ban on crypto lending as it weighs a minimum investment amount targeting retail investors. Separately, courier company Flash Express has signed a deal with SET-listed homebuilder SC Asset to develop parcel distribution centres.

Regulators approve ban crypto lending

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved an effective ban on crypto staking and lending services after the majority vote went in favour of the proceeding, according to an announcement on Thursday.

A minimum of 5,000 baht ($135) is also being weighed for investment in digital assets, considering its volatile nature and inadequate risk awareness among traders, said the market regulator in a separate statement. The amount will protect individual traders with low-risk tolerance against potential losses.

Should the regulations announced on Thursday be finalised, crypto operators will be barred from offering deposits and withdrawals of digital assets or offering returns to depositors — even ones that come from revenues of the company or its affiliates. Only returns from sales promotion will be allowed to be given back to traders.

Citing overseas crypto lenders in the liquidity crisis and service suspension, the Thai SEC claimed that the ban on such services will prevent misconception about regulatory oversight, which has not been established.

In addition, the Thai SEC is pushing forward a mandate for cryptocurrency-related advertisements to flag a clearly-visible warning message: “Cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the laws of Thailand and have a high volatility that may not be supported by any fundamental factors. You may lose all investment money.”

Flash Express, SC Asset tie up to build warehouses

Flash Express, the country’s second-largest express parcel delivery company, has joined hands with local residential developer SC Asset to build a 300,000-square-metre distribution centre in the northeastern province of Thailand Nakhon Sawan, according to a company announcement.

Under the first phase of the cooperation between Flash Express and SC Asset’s logistics arm SCX One, the strategically-located warehouse is expected to kick off operations next year.

Flash Express is said to be in talks with Blackstone-backed private equity giant PAG to raise an undisclosed amount of investment in its next round of fundraising, according to industry sources. Flash and PAG declined to comment on a query sent by DealStreetAsia.

Along with fintech startup Ascend Money, Flash Express is one of just two unicorns in Thailand.

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