United States investment bank Morgan Stanley has updated the prospectus of several institutional funds to reflect potential exposure to Bitcoin (BTC) through Grayscale and cash-settled futures, highlighting once again the rapid uptake of digital assets by major investment firms.
In a March 31 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, Morgan Stanley declared it has updated the “Investment Policies and Strategies” section for 12 institutional portfolios. The update enables Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund, Inc. to add Bitcoin to several portfolios via Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and cash-settled futures.
The filing explains:
“To the extent a Fund invests in bitcoin futures or GBTC, it will do so through a wholly-owned subsidiary, which is organized as an exempted company under the laws of the Cayman Islands [...] A Fund may at times have no exposure to bitcoin."
The portfolios that could gain exposure to BTC are:
- Advantage Portfolio
- Asia Opportunity Portfolio
- Counterpoint Global Portfolio
- Developing Opportunity Portfolio
- Global Advantage Portfolio
- Global Permanence Portfolio
- Global Opportunity Portfolio
- Growth Portfolio
- Inception Portfolio
- International Advantage Portfolio
- International Opportunity Portfolio
- Permanence Portfolio (each, a "Portfolio")
Rumblings of an institutional Bitcoin offering at Morgan Stanley have been gaining traction over the past few weeks after an “internal memo” revealed the bank’s intent to offer crypto exposure to wealthy clients. Morgan Stanley has also been connected to Bithumb amid reports that the bank was eyeing a major stake in the leading Korean exchange.
As Bloomberg reported in February, Morgan Stanley has even considered purchasing Bitcoin outright via its Counterpart Global investment arm.