Thai lender SCB shares hit 2-year high on restructuring, new fund

BANGKOK, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank Pcl saw its share price reach a 25-month high after markets opened on Thursday, following its announcement of a major restructuring plan and new venture capital fund with Charoen Pokphand Group.

Thailand’s third-largest lender by assets announced on Wednesday it would establish SCBX as a parent company through a 1:1 share swap.

SCBX would replace SCB as the listed entity and a one-time dividend payment of 70 billion baht ($2.09 billion) would be issued to SCBX to finance the business transfer, new investments and as payment to shareholders.

The share price rose 17% against an index gain of 0.42% on Wednesday.

The share swap is contingent on shareholder and regulatory approval. It plans to delist SCB in February next year.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn is the bank’s largest shareholder with a 23.38% stake.

The bank also announced a venture capital fund with size of up to $800 million, to be managed with local food conglomerate, Charoen Pokphand Group, to invest in blockchain tech and digital assets.

SCBX would hold shares in more than 16 businesses including auto loans, credit card, AI-based lending and food delivery.

It aims to have 200 million customers by 2025 in the region and reach market capitalisation of 1 trillion baht ($29.79 billion) from 372 billion baht. ($1 = 33.5700 baht) (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Martin Petty)