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Thailand: The Next Beachhead in BlackRock’s Global Expansion?

2 mins
Updated by Michael Washburn
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In Brief

  • BlackRock may be seriously considering investments in Thailand's green energy sector, according to a Thai news source.
  • Thailand has a dynamic renewables industry that government spokespersons expect to grow markedly in coming years.
  • But is BlackRock genuinely interested in green investing, or just eager for new opportunity in Asia after its fiasco in China?
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As BlackRock awaits a ruling on its application for a spot Bitcoin ETF, the world’s largest asset manager may have plans to expand its presence dramatically in the vast markets of Southeast Asia.

BlackRock, with $9.4 trillion in assets under management, has given indications that Thailand may be the next beachhead in its aggressive global expansion.

BlackRock Bullish on Thailand Investments

Representatives of BlackRock conveyed their interest in possible investments in Thailand to that nation’s prime minister, Srettha Thavisin, during a meeting this week, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

Thavisin took office on August 23. Barely a month into his term, the new prime minister has been in New York for the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, whose “High Level Week” concludes Friday.

A Thai government spokesman, Chai Wacharonke, made an announcement relaying BlackRock’s interest in investing in Thailand’s solar, wind, and recycling industries, the report stated. The prime minister met directly with BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, Wacharonke acknowledged.

The spokesman gave the value of Thailand’s bio-circular-green sector as 3.44 trillion baht, or about $95.5 billion, according to the report. And Wacharonke said that it is likely to expand to 4.4 trillion baht in the next year.

The report also noted that some of Thailand’s bigger investment funds, including its Government Pension Fund, have made investments through BlackRock’s Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF).

When a spot Bitcoin ETF becomes available, as widely expected, the opportunities for reciprocal investments between Thailand and BlackRock will be that much broader.

BlackRock Shifts Focus From China to Thailand

Officially, the meeting between Thavisin and Fink and its positive upshot may be a reflection of the strength of Thailand’s markets. And of BlackRock’s boldness of vision. A forward-looking asset manager is set to embrace mutually beneficial opportunities in a market where innovation and ingenuity are on display.  

But BlackRock may well be looking for a new beachhead in Asia after the marked failure of its China Flexible Equity Fund. The firm made the decision earlier this month to shut down the fund, after it earned only $22.3 million in assets over six years of operation.

Then there’s the extremely negative publicity that has descended like a shroud over BlackRock’s investments in Chinese firms. Specifically in companies that members of a US House Committee have publicly accused of having ties to Beijing’s military, police, and spy programs.

Learn more about the controversy over BlackRock’s investments in firms with ties to China’s authoritarian regime.

As the Wall Street Journal reported on August 1, The House of Representatives’ Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party has alleged that Americans are “unwittingly funding” bad actors in China because of investment decisions that BlackRock has made.

BeInCrypto reached out to BlackRock for comment but did not receive a reply as this article went to press.

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Michael Washburn
Michael Washburn is a New York-based managing editor who joined BeInCrypto in March 2023. Over his career, he written extensively about the corporate legal world and the intersection of finance and law, has produced thousands of articles and features, and has mentored many reporters and researchers finding their way in a fast-changing industry.