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ECSE Celebrates Seven Years Of Growth

by Carla Johnson, Investors Offshore.com

05 December 2008


The Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange (ECSE) has had a "tremendous impact" on the regional capital market, the exchange claimed recently as it marked its seventh year in operation.

The exchange, based in Basseterre, St. Kitts, has developed swiftly since its first listing, that of the Bank of Nevis, in October 2001, and as of October 17, 2008, there were 52 tradable securities listed, comprising 32 sovereign debt instruments, 14 equities and six corporate bonds.

Companies listed on the ECSE operate in various sectors of the economies in countries across the Caribbean, including financial services, energy, manufacturing, telecommunications, as well as including a number of conglomerates. The exchange recently listed its first real estate company, Grenada's General Property Corporation Limited.

"The ECSE has crossed territorial boundaries as companies outside the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) have listed on the market. This financial bridge opens the door for any company to list and trade on the ECSE. The network of brokers has extends beyond the ECCU to Trinidad and Tobago."

At present, there are 10 intermediaries located across the region.

The exchange also noted that the inception of the Regional Government Securities Market (RGSM) in November 2002 has provided governments in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States with "significant resources to support their operations and boost economic activity," having enabled them to raise over USD2.9bn to date. This facility allows governments to raise funds denominated in both local and foreign currency; the governments of Antigua & Barbuda and St Lucia have both issued US dollar denominated bonds, which are now listed and traded on the market.

"The operations of the ECSE are critical for the stability of the financial sector in the Caribbean. Amidst the present external economic turmoil, and the potential resulting shocks to regional economies, the ECSE continues to chart a new way forward for financial transformation and innovation. The ECSE has undeniably generated a tremendously positive effect on the region’s capital market over the past seven years of its operations, and will continue to do so in the future," the exchange said.


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