Seamico and partners seek to tokenise property
published : 13 Mar 2019 at 04:00
newspaper section: Business
writer: Darana Chudasri
Seamico Securities has partnered with Elevated Returns, a New York-based financial group focused on digitising traditional financial assets, and the blockchain Tezos to expand business operations in Thailand, aiming to tokenise real estate businesses worth US$100 million (3.17 billion baht) this year.
Elevated Returns recently acquired a 21% stake in Seamico worth 467.1 million baht, with a plan to tokenise the Thai real estate market by using the same model as Colorado's St Regis Aspen Resort, worth $18 million, which is the first tokenised digital security offering of an internationally renowned resort.
"Thailand has a good environment to conduct digital businesses, as the country has a high mobile banking penetration at 74% and the second-highest penetration in terms of the number of crypto-wallet holders at 9.9% of Thailand's internet users," said Stephane De Baets, founder and president of Elevated Returns.
The company is targeting $250 million worth of transactions this year, of which $100 million is anticipated for Thailand, he said.
The firm also plans to launch products related to high-end real estate projects in central Bangkok in the second and third quarters.
Mr De Baets said the property market has potential to increase asset values in the long run, in contrast with cash.
Although real estate has the lowest liquidity for an asset, tokenisation can help create higher liquidity because blockchain technology can "fractionalise and democratise" the concept of investment, he said.
Elevated Returns is also preparing to submit an application for a digital exchange licence with the Securities and Exchange Commission. And SE Digital, a wholly owned subsidiary of Seamico, is in the process of applying to become an initial coin offering (ICO) portal in Thailand.
Seamico chairman Suthep Wongvorazathe said SE Digital has customers waiting to place at least two ICO deals. The customers are companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
He said ICO business will give the company another source of revenue apart from the brokerage business.
Tezos will help with blockchain and smart contracts for ICOs.
- real estate