WITH A POSITIVE HISTORY OF DRAWING IN GLOBAL FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS TO THE CHANNEL ISLANDS, TAMARA MENTESHVILI, CEO OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS STOCK EXCHANGE, EXPLAINS WHY LISTING ON THE CISX IS AN ATTRACTIVE CHOICE
The Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX) is an integral part of the financial services community within the Channel Islands and is a major contributor towards attracting a range of high quality global financial service providers to utilise the Channel Islands for a diverse range of corporate services, including the provision of listing and trading securities. The CISX is an internationally recognised stock exchange and this is reflected in both the Exchange’s outlook and the number of jurisdictions represented on its Official List – over 22 jurisdictions.
There are a number of benefits to achieving a CISX listing, including receiving a high standard of service and lower comparable costs. Of particular importance is the strategic location of the exchange and its operating environment, which has attracted well over 200 international issuers to the exchange’s Official List. The CISX operates in a highly regarded, modern and stable international finance centre that is able to offer a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of funds servicing. Fund promoters are attracted by Guernsey’s stable government, tax neutral platform, the breadth and depth of quality financial service providers based in the jurisdiction, its strategic time zone near to the UK and in the same time zone as London, together with its solid reputation for high standards of corporate governance and appropriate legislation. Few jurisdictions can match this range of advantages.
There is certainly a greater level of expectation by investors with regard to transparency, probity and accountability, which must be viewed as one of the consequences of the financial crisis, with investors needing to regain confidence while seeking a return on investment. During the past two or three years, this has proved an advantage to the CISX.
A listing on any exchange should add value and enhance information flow to investors (and the public generally) and it is one of the exchange’s roles to facilitate this. At the CISX, the market authority has always worked to ensure listed issuers fully understand the implications and practicalities of the listing rules, offering information and guidance through workshops, seminars and conferences. This educational role has always been a key element of the exchange’s work, but in the aftermath of the financial crisis there is even greater emphasis on disclosure and transparency and the role of listing in achieving these prerequisites. As a result, the CISX has by far the most Channel Islands listings of any global exchange with more than 1,100 listings domiciled in either Guernsey or Jersey, with the larger percentage coming from Guernsey.
The recession and economic outlook are important factors to consider and, in the short term, one must expect there to be a period of adjustment in terms of fund structuring and benchmarking. The market authority recognises that confidence needs to be restored across all aspects of financial services, including the funds sector, but it is encouraging that figures indicating the net asset value of funds in the Channel Islands have shown substantial increases in the size of the funds business in both Islands during the past 12 months. Also of significance is that an additional £45bn capital was raised on the exchange across different security types during the recessionary period 2008-2010. In these difficult times, it is equally as gratifying that the market authority has been able to announce in May 2011, the admission of its 4,000th security to its Official List.
A forthcoming CISX conference in London will be examining all aspects of the business environment and global economic condition, looking at world markets and the opportunities for liquidity, defining fundamental values by examining fund mega trends and considering investment structuring and benchmarking in today’s market. The CISX International Business Summit will focus on macroeconomic issues and, as in previous summits, call upon expert speakers drawn from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds