International business firms operating in Barbados now have another avenue through which to trade a range of securities.
Today, the Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) launched the International Securities Market (ISM), which will allow international business and financial services companies to offer equities, bonds, other fixed income securities and mutual fund products.
Deputy chairman of the BSE Randall Belgrave said the introduction of the ISM “solidifies the BSE’s commitment to the international business and financial services sector, and the economy of Barbados on a whole.
“It represents a new and innovative product offered by the BSE, allowing us to attract international listings while creating new business opportunities for current market participants, our registered brokers, while opening the doors for new participants, listing sponsors and trading participants to become actively involved in the listing and trading in international securities,” he explained.
He said it should also serve as a way to advertise the island as the premier choice for international business and the capital market hub in the Caribbean.
Minister of International Business and Small Business Development Donville Inniss welcomed the ISM, saying it would make the island the international financial wealth management destination of choice in the Western Hemisphere.
“It is anticipated that participants in the ISM, which are likely to be international and offshore banks and international business companies, would be regulated by the Stock Exchange for their actions and obligations under the rules of the ISM and continue to be subject to prudential regulation by the Central Bank of Barbados as well,” said Inniss.
“They would also continue to be regulated by the financial services commission for takeovers, insider trading and market manipulation. This would enable the BSE to ensure a strong regulatory focus for the ISM, which is absent in many less well-regulated offshore or international centres,” he added.
“A range of benefits will accrue to Barbados through the ISM. These include but are not limited to, the raising of our profile internationally as an international financial centre; attracting new types of international business to Barbados; encouraging the positive use of our double taxation treaties; facilitating new types of businesses such as listing sponsors, and creating new jobs and opportunities for persons with specialized skills,” said Inniss, adding that it should also result in increased revenue to the local economy.
Meantime, General Manager of the BSE Marlon Yarde said the ISM would make Barbados a “one stop shop” for international business and financial services.
He said the intention was to attract “quality business”, pointing out that while there was always room for improvement, the island had very good qualities that would make it a destination of choice.
“So why Barbados? For five quality reasons – we are a quality destination, we are a trusted jurisdiction, we are stable, we have excellent infrastructure, we have efficient vehicles to facilitate the structuring of transactions,” said Yarde.