South Korean pension fund, National Pension Service (NPS), bought nearly $20 million worth of Coinbase (COIN) shares in the third quarter, local outlet News1 reported, citing the NPS’ latest stock holding report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
NPS snapped up 282,673 shares at an average price of $70.5, amounting to an investment of $19.92 million or nearly 26 billion Korean won (₩). The shares are worth around $27.74 million based on Coinbase’s last close on Wednesday.
The investment in the Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange helped the fund achieve 40% profit in the quarter. COIN shares have rise 4% in the third quarter and 177% this year.
The fund has reportedly added a digital assets company to its U.S. stock portfolio for the first time on record. South Korea's National Assembly has criticized the fund for taking exposure to businesses related to virtual assets. A key objection against pension funds investing in cryptocurrencies is that digital assets do not generate any cash, and the only way to make a return is by selling them to the next investor willing to pay more.
Still, a survey by Pensions Age early this year found that pension schemes “overwhelmingly” regard digital assets as a major part of the investment landscape and view them as a portfolio diversification opportunity.
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