Guernsey: The Channel Islands Stock Exchange – Unrivalled Service

Last Updated: 4 October 2000

In its first 18 months of operation, the Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX) has achieved significant milestones in every aspect of its core business. The market capitalisation and trading activity of the CISX rivals other comparable markets. From its inception, the CISX has enjoyed strong local support for its development and received backing from twenty-three prestigious local and international organisations as Founder Members. Since that time, membership has grown to 30 and there is continued interest.

Differentiation

The CISX offers a professional and personalised service unique to the European time zone. One distinguishing feature is that the Market Authority meets daily to consider applications for listings.

The structure of the CISX has been specifically designed to differentiate it from other exchanges. In addition to the traditional type of stock exchange member (i.e. stock broker), the CISX's membership structure allows fund mangers, fund administrators, as well as law firms and accountancy firms who provide fund services and act for companies, to join the CISX as Listing Members, providing, of course, that they meet the membership criteria.

The Listing Rules are designed to ensure that investors have, and maintain, confidence in the market. The Listing Rules are easy to understand and, in keeping with the existing high standards imposed by the CISX's regulatory authority, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, comply with international standards.

Special listing procedures have been put in place to address the needs of participants in the investment funds sector and the international debt market for a speedy and efficient listing service. Professional staff at the CISX review all applications for listings and in line with the policy and practice of the regulatory authorities within the Channel Islands, the Market Authority of the CISX is always available to discuss with issuers and their advisers any aspect of the Listing Rules.

On the investment funds side, the listing document disclosure requirements are similar to that of prospectus requirements for Channel Islands authorised and approved investment funds – whether open or closed-ended. This provides fund promoters with time and cost savings in the preparation of documentation.

The CISX caters for international debt instruments issued by a wide range of corporations, sovereign governments and municipal authorities, as well as for issuers of Special Purpose Vehicles. As with other securities listed on the CISX, specialist debt securities listed on the CISX will benefit from the international profile and recognition of the Channel Islands as premier finance centres. An important factor for any issuer, particularly in the Eurobond market, is an efficient service. The CISX operates a special fast track listing procedure to address the time pressures under which issuers and their advisers in the international debt markets operate. Under this procedure, the Market Authority has adopted an equivalence approach with respect to documentation utilised for listing on other exchanges.

There is growing international interest in securitisation issues and in particular, securitisation programmes that look to utilise offshore vehicles. The Channel Islands can provide the right environment for such vehicles and, indeed, Jersey has carved a niche for itself in the securitisation market. The CISX is well placed to facilitate the listing of specialist debt securities, including Eurobonds and Special Purpose Vehicles.

The CISX is a Member of the European Securitisation Forum (ESF), an initiative sponsored by the US Bond Market Association to promote the continued growth and development of securitisations throughout Europe and to represent the interests of European securitisation market participants. One of the aims of the ESF is to promote greater consistency and uniformity of laws, market practice and documentation to facilitate a broader, more liquid and efficient securitisation market. Working together with its Members, some of whom are also Members of the Forum, the CISX will continue its efforts to attract such business to the Islands.

The listing fees of the CISX are also very competitive. Specialist debt securities pay a one-off fee of £3,000 with no recurring annual fee. Specialist debt programmes incur a fee of £3,000 inclusive of the first tranche, plus £1000 per additional tranche regardless of size or maturity date. The initial fee for Warrants is £900, with a further £900 per annum for those Warrants that trade on the Exchange. On the investment funds side, the initial fee for a single class open-ended investment fund and a £900 annual fee.

Advantages Of A CISX Listing

Apart from the competitive pricing and the personalised service, the CISX provides added value through its information distribution and marketing services for Members and issuers alike.

Through the use of its web-site, the CISX not only promotes its services, but the products and services of its Members and listed entities. Each Member has a page on the CISX web-site, to include useful background information and contact details, with a further opportunity to link to their own web-site. This is proving to be a useful marketing tool. Likewise, securities admitted to the CISX Official List are indexed according to type of security. Background information is provided and a facility is being added to link the CISX web-site to either the Members' research database for further statistics and analysis or the listed entity's web-site.

This service is in addition to the CISX Reuters pages (CISXINDEX) which broadcasts market data together with background information on those securities listed and traded on the CISX.

Recognition

The CISX is licensed to operate as a investment exchange by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission under the Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1987. The CISX is a Corresponding Exchange with the FIBV. In July 2000, the CISX was approved as a recognised stock exchange by the Australian Stock Exchange.

Conclusion

The key strengths of the Exchange may be summarised as follows:

  • Personalised approach
  • Competitive pricing
  • Responsive and approachable Market Authority
  • International standards of issuer regulation
  • Enhanced marketability and added value service
  • Premier location

With strong support from its Members, the CISX has developed a firm foundation with which to build and grow. The Exchange offers a unique opportunity for those international businesses already attracted to the Channel Islands to take advantage of a personalised approach and fast track processing of applications for listings within a highly regulated and innovative marketplace.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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