Morgan Stanley investment funds have invested in bitcoin when its price dropped below the $40,000 mark earlier this year, as filings show the Morgan Stanley Europe Opportunity Fund doubled down on its BTC exposure during the price dip.
As first reported by Business Insider, Morgan Stanley’s Europe Opportunity Fund owned 58,116 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) worth over $2 million as of July 31. As of April 30, when the price of bitcoin was above $50,0000, the fund owned 28,298 GBTC shares worth $1.3 million.
According to CryptoCompare data, the price of the flagship cryptocurrency crashed to less than $30,000 in July, but it soon recovered to trade above the $40,000 by July 31. When exactly the fund invested in GBTC isn’t clear, but the timing shows it did so after the price dropped.
The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust issues shares tied to the market value of bitcoin. Each GBTC share, according to the firm’s website, has 0.000936118 BTC in it, worth around $39.5. The trust allows investors to gain exposure to the flagship cryptocurrency without managing private or public keys, and is managed for a fee.
Dennis Lynch, head of the $150 billion unit of Morgan Stanley Investment Management that has racked up wins in mutual-fund rankings Counterpoint Global, revealed at the recent Morningstar annual investment conference the unit invested in BTC because they like “the idea where you can bet small, win big.”
The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust was established in 2013 and has since grown to be the largest public holder of bitcoin. The trust has over $27.3 billion in assets under management at the time of writing. It charges a 2% annual fee on investors.
Morgan Stanley is among a growing number of major banks increasing their exposure to the cryptocurrency space. In March, Morgan Stanley clients with at least $5 million at the investment bank started being given access to bitcoin funds.
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