The Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) formally launched an international securities market (ISM) on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Though within the BSE, the ISM will operate as a separate market with distinct rules that apply to membership, trading, clearing and settlement and listing of securities. As such, the ISM will be able to attract issuers from both Barbados and international markets that may otherwise be listed and traded on other exchanges.
In his remarks, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, the Honourable Donville Inniss applauded “the vision and determination of the BSE in the launch of the International Securities Market as it aligns with the futuristic view which my Ministry has articulated as a goal for the development of our international business and financial services sector. It also brings our vision of Barbados becoming the international financial wealth management centre of choice in the western hemisphere, one step closer to reality.”
The launch was attended by several key private and public sector stakeholders. “The new international securities regime represents a pivotal part of an ongoing process whereby Barbados transforms its international business services into an all-encompassing jurisdiction of choice for serious international financial planning. It is multi-faceted and multi-layered giving great scope to the serious international tax and financial planner,” said Sir Trevor Carmichael, Q.C., Chairman, Chancery Chambers.
The ISM was created to accommodate the needs of a wide range of international businesses. Accordingly, the fees for listing on the ISM are upwards of 30 – 50% lower than that of larger exchanges in North America and Europe – providing affordable access to public markets for small and mid-sized firms that may otherwise be unable to sustain a public listing. In support of the ISM, Barbados created a comprehensive governance and regulatory framework that includes the BSE, the Central Bank and the Financial Services Commission. The strong regulatory environment for the ISM is designed to be much more rigorous than many other offshore financial jurisdictions yet without the overly burdensome requirements of the larger North American and European exchanges.
“Though attractive to international companies of all sizes and from all regions, the Barbados ISM will be particularly attractive to companies that would value the lower listing fees and robust, yet right-sized regulation to be found in Barbados,” said Marlon Yarde, C.E.O. & General Manager, BSE Inc & Barbados Central Securities Depository Inc. “Traditional markets for Barbados in North America and Europe will likely be early adopters of the ISM. However, we anticipate that the ISM will be well received by international businesses globally.”