New York financial group partners with local firms to tokenise real-estate market

Corporate March 11, 2019 15:04

By The Nation

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Elevated Returns (ER), a New York-based financial group focused on digitising traditional financial assets, has partnered with Thai financial services firm Seamico Securities Plc (ZMICO) and blockchain platform Tezos to expand into Thailand. 



Following the success of the US$18 million (Bt570 million) tokenisation of the St Regis Aspen Resort, ER plans to tokenise the global real estate market. It is targeting $250 million (Bt7.91 billion) in transactions this year, with $100 million (Bt3.16 billion) in Thailand and a plan to launch products in the second and third quarters. 

ER is also preparing to file for a Digital Exchange licence with the SEC to facilitate the local digital ecosystem, while SE Digital Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Seamico, is in the process of applying for an Initial Coin Offering Portal (ICO Portal) licence from the SEC.

The partners hope their linking will be a first mover of asset-backed digital securities in Thailand’s digital economy.

Committed to creating a sustainable blockchain ecosystem, Tezos Southeast Asia (TSA) is aiming to create the first blockchain education and research programme in Thailand in collaboration with Chulalongkorn University, Stephane De Baets, founder and president of Elevated Returns (ER) noted.

He added that Elevated Returns has huge ambitions to bring this technology to the global real estate market, and especially to Thailand.

“We see enormous opportunities here because Thailand is exceptionally receptive to digital transformation, and has the government’s support in line with the Thailand 4.0 policy,” said De Baets.

As part of ER’s expansion into Thailand, it closed the 21 per cent acquisition of Bangkok-based financial services firm Seamico Securities Plc, worth Bt467.1 million, on March 8. ER plans to tokenise the Thai real estate market by using the same model it employed in the US, where it raised $18 million through the St Regis Aspen Resort tokenisation, representing the first tokenised digital security offering of an internationally renowned trophy real estate asset issued in the world.

ER has confidence in the partnership with Seamico to educate, access, and transform the Thai real estate market. Seamico provides local business know-how, access to regulatory licences, a large local customer base and local distribution channels. 

“This year, we target $100 million in transactions in Thailand and aim to launch products in Q2 or Q3,” he said.

“ER’s expansion into Thailand is riding on one of the world’s highest mobile banking penetration [rates] at 74 per cent, and the second highest penetration in terms of the number of crypto wallet holders at 9.9 per cent of the Thai internet user population. The company recognises that SEC Thailand is at the forefront of this industry and the country’s regulations are among the most supportive for the blockchain industry in the world,” said De Baets.