On Wednesday, The Bitcoin Fund debuted on the Nasdaq Dubai exchange became the first digital asset-based fund to list in the Middle East and North Africa. Canada’s largest digital-asset investment fund manager 3iQ Corp seeking to raise around $200 million in the offering.
As Reuters reports, the Bitcoin Fund becoming the Middle East’s first listed cryptocurrency fund. Canadian digital-asset manager 3iQ’s bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) started trading on Nasdaq Dubai on Wednesday. Its shares rose 10% by the first day.
The fund has about $1.5 billion in assets under management and invests in long-term holdings of the cryptocurrency as a “safer alternative to a direct investment in Bitcoin,” according to its prospectus.
As said by Frederick Pye, the chief executive officer of 3iQ, “With the listing of the Bitcoin Fund, it’s going to give people access in the region to this fund on the Dubai exchange in the hours that the Dubai exchange trades at.”
“If the volumes are significant, we’ll be looking to raise capital to increase the size of the Bitcoin Fund here in Dubai and we will continue to issue shares based on the demand that comes from the region,” Pye told Reuters.
By his words, the listing will help satisfy the demand for investment diversification in the Middle East, as well as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) needs like pension funds and family offices.
Pye claimed that despite China’s recent crypto crackdown that has hit cryptocurrency prices, the timing of that move would help those who bought into the Dubai listing.
“We’re very excited because when we hit an all-time high, our investors and our clients and our friends will have doubled their money,” he added.
The alternative investment firm Dalma Capital, based in Dubai, led the arranger for the Nasdaq Dubai listing. London-based investment firm Razlin Capital and corporate finance advisor 01 Capital advised on the listing process, with Pinsent Masons as a legal counsel.
“Today’s secondary listing of existing units from Canada was met with very strong demand, which has validated the need for an additional offering to satisfy the demand from regional investors,” said CEO of Dalma Capital Zachary Cefaratti without concrete timing.
The Bitcoin Fund stock traded 10% higher than the reference price the first day, indicating strong interest in the market.