Bitcoin tumble sends JTS stock from first to last in world

Bitcoin tumble sends JTS stock from first to last in world

Souvenir tokens representing cryptocurrency bitcoin plunge into water in this illustration taken May 17, 2022. (Reuters photo)
Souvenir tokens representing cryptocurrency bitcoin plunge into water in this illustration taken May 17, 2022. (Reuters photo)

Just two months ago Jasmine Technology Solution Plc’s (JTS) shares were riding high atop the global communications equipment sector after a huge boom catalysed by the Thai firm’s plan to embrace Bitcoin mining.

Now the picture is starkly different. A cryptocurrency rout has sparked a near-80% collapse in the stock since an April peak, lopping about 355 billion baht off its market value and leaving the firm pinned to the bottom of the group. 

The reversal for a company that earlier was one of the most valuable in Thailand is an extreme example of how the crypto shakeout is bleeding across into more conventional markets. It’s also a warning about the risks that come with trying to ride the volatile and speculative digital-asset wave.

JTS delivered a total return of more than 3,000% over the 12 months to April 2022, when its shares hit a record. That led the communications equipment sector for companies worth at least 35 billion baht. The stock’s 77% drop since then has sent it to the bottom of the sector, which also includes the likes of global giants Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co.

JTS said in a statement it continues to mine Bitcoin and generate revenues from operations like data centers and cloud computing. Its mining revenues amounted to 25.2 million baht in January through March, a fraction of total sales of 511 million baht, filings show. 

The firm has said it plans about 3.3 billion baht of investment to become among the world’s top Bitcoin miners. Thai regulators previously imposed trading curbs on the stock and told investors to scrutinise its mining strategy.

“We simply do not like anything which has no fundamentals to support” it, Vikas Kawatra and Jason York, analysts at Yuanta Securities (Thailand) Plc, wrote in a note June 15, adding they had been skeptical of the share-price surge triggered by the avowed shift to crypto mining. 

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