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The Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) has been in existence since 1971 and has carved a niche in the global stock exchange industry, with nearly 550 listed issuers with a combined market capitalisation

The Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) has been in existence since 1971 and has carved a niche in the global stock exchange industry, with nearly 550 listed issuers with a combined market capitalisation of around USD350bn. Offering a complete stock exchange solution in one of the world’s most respected and sophisticated offshore financial centres, the BSX trades and settles stock and cash transactions daily through its electronic trading, settlement and depository systems.

The development and success of the BSX has helped the growth of Bermuda’s capital market and has provided opportunities for international clients. The BSX’s commercially sensible regulatory approach dovetails with that of the jurisdiction, and is based upon currently accepted international regulatory and operational standards.

It seeks to achieve an appropriate balance between providing issuers with access to the market at the earliest opportunity, and investors with certain safeguards and timely information for the purpose of enabling them to make informed decisions on the value, risk and merit of listed securities.

With the development of the Launch ‘n’ List product the exchange is able to provide an accelerated timeframe in which a hedge fund can be incorporated and listed on the BSX, with the regulatory authority and the exchange working on the fund’s documents simultaneously.

Launch ‘n’ List was developed as a result of industry feedback, which indicated a growing frustration among practitioners with the length of time they experienced when creating, domiciling and listing a structure. Launch ‘n’ List is a direct response to this frustration, as the procedure seeks to reduce and eliminate duplicate effort, which in turn reduces the amount of time to market.

With effect from December 4 last year, the board of the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs has designated the BSX as a ‘recognised stock exchange’. The designation extends to the entire BSX and as such, securities listed on the exchange will meet the HMRC interpretation of ‘listed’.

Designation by HMRC is a significant development for the BSX, expanding the services provided by an offshore stock exchange to unprecedented levels. The exchange embarked on a path in the 1990s to create a fully operational, modern stock exchange platform in the offshore world that is well regulated and globally recognised.

The HMRC designation is further evidence of the BSX commitment to fulfil this goal. Designation required not only due diligence and detailed analysis of the BSX by HMRC during the application process, but also the involvement and support of Bermuda’s minister of finance, her financial secretary and the ministry.

The needs of the clients of the BSX were the main driver in seeking this designation. Many clients have indicated an interest in having their investment universe of qualifying investments expanded, or in other instances in having an alternative to the current listing venues for the listing of their Eurobond or debt products. The exchange is proud to have been able to deliver on both counts and looks forward to further growing its international business.

Greg Wojciechowski is president and chief executive of the Bermuda Stock Exchange

 

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