By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
The Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX) plans to use its capture of the Government’s $3.6bn debt market as “a springboard” to attract further listings.
Keith Davies, its chief executive, told Tribune Business that the exchange aimed to attract other government-related securities - such as those issued as part of public-private partnership (PPPs) investments - to broaden and deepen the Bahamian capital markets.
He revealed that the 220 separate Bahamas Registered Stock (BRS) issues now being traded over BISX had “more than tripled” the exchange’s total number of listings, while also expanding its market capitalisation by some 40 percent to around $8.872bn.
“Every new issue of government debt will be placed on the exchange,” Mr Davies said. “We want to use this as a springboard for other types of securities the Government may be involved with.
“For example, if the Government is involved in a PPP they may find an avenue to facilitate the creation of a particular type of security that is suitable for listing on the exchange and make it available to the average Bahamian, so we will participate in that partnership as well.”
The Government has signalled its intention to sell-off its 51.75 percent majority stake in Aliv, the mobile operator, via an initial public offering (IPO) to Bahamian retail and institutional investors once the company reaches profitability.
And the former Ingraham administration also sought to do similar with the Government’s interest in the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), making both entities candidates for the type of listing Mr Davies is eyeing.
The BISX chief, meanwhile, described Thursday’s government debt trading start on the exchange as “the biggest thing that BISX has done for 20 years”.
He added: “In one single move we’ve added $3.6bn to the market. We tripled the amount of listings overnight. The minister was right when he said this was a gigantic step in terms of broadening the market.
“It is a bold vote of confidence in the market, a total vote of confidence in BISX. You don’t give an entity $3bn to manage unless they know what they’re doing.”