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Conference Explores Case For Caribbean Regional Stock Exchange

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

23 October 2003


Delegates recently gathered at a conference in the Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, to discuss ways in which greater harmonization could be achieved between capital and equity markets in the region with a view to establishing a single Caribbean trading exchange.

Addressing the conference, organized by Caribbean Latin American Action in conjunction with the University of the West Indies was Keith Davies, Acting Chief Executive of the Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX), who stated that the discussions gave "an opportunity to gain a better understanding of what is happening with the capital markets in the region."

"Many people are unaware of the fact that Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados are already well advanced in a joint cross listing and trading pilot project, which could put the capital markets of those countries in a favourable position in the future," added Mr Davies.

The BISX chief continued: "I would favour the electronic linking of regional Exchanges such that anyone investing in the market would be able to access any security from any regional or international location. In this way, the region could still establish a Caribbean region index, and use its combined market capitalization to attract foreign institutional direct investment. This of course is not the same as a single stock exchange for the region which would be solely responsible for listing, trading and oversight."

However, Mr Davies explained that further work was required to establish international best practice guidelines for the regulation of capital markets that would set a benchmark for participating countries should the idea evolve into reality.


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