Reports this Wednesday suggest that the Julius Baer Group is acting as issuer for a cryptocurrency product. The asset manager, one of the oldest banking institutions in Switzerland, is arguably the largest asset manager now operating in the cryptocurrency space.
Company documents indicate that the structured product is being launched by Block Asset Management, a cryptocurrency investment management firm.
The product will not be subject to authorisation by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). As such, anyone investing in the cryptocurrency product will not be protected by Swiss investor protection laws and will be exposed to any credit risk that Julius Baer undertakes.
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Julius Baer will be issuing up to 20,000 of the products. A company document seen by Finance Magnates shows that the products will be issued at $1,000 apiece.
An initial fixing date has been set for the 16th of October. The asset manager defines this as the date during which the initial value and initial composition of the underlying asset are determined.
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— Julius Baer (@juliusbaer) December 21, 2017
Accompanying this, an issue date has been set for the 30th October. This means that at the end of October the products will be issued and the issue price, $1,000, will have to be paid.
A lengthy subscription period will also be held. This started on the 16th of August and will end on the 16th of October at 17:30 Central European Time.
Dabbling in cryptocurrency products marks quite a change in tone for Julius Baer. As you can see above, in late 2017, the asset manager published a lengthy blog post on its website entitled “Stay away from Bitcoin and crypto!”
A few months prior to this, the company’s Chief Investment Officer had been equally dismissive of cryptocurrency. Julius Bonz said that Bitcoin was “from the Stone Age” and “unsuitable for an investment portfolio.”