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Japan's Monex to buy majority stake in 3iQ for $39.8 million

(Reuters) -Japan-based brokerage firm Monex Group said on Thursday it will acquire a majority stake in Canada's 3iQ Digital Holdings for $39.8 million, to boost its appeal to crypto-hungry institutional investors.

The deal underscores a resurgence in the popularity of crypto, which has gained ground recently after being battered by a string of industry meltdowns last year.

Japan is viewed as one of the most crypto-friendly nations in Asia, besides Hong Kong and Singapore. It has expressed support for Web3, a term closely associated with crypto that is used to refer to the decentralized version of the internet.

Stronger crypto regulations in the country have also provided a safety net for customers. Earlier this year, FTX Japan customers were the first to resume withdrawing their funds, while others elsewhere had their deposits locked up with the exchange after its bankruptcy.

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Monex said the acquisition will help boost its asset management business. The company also operates an online brokerage and a crypto exchange in Japan.

TD Cowen advised Monex on the deal, while Cinaport Capital was the adviser to 3iQ.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)