FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION – July 8, 2020
BISX CEO Keith Davies with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K. Peter Turnquest (file photo from August 2017 courtesy call)
The Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX or the Exchange) is pleased to announce that trading in Bahamas Registered Stock (BRS) will begin on Thursday, 9th July 2020. This will be the first time that these instruments are available for trading on BISX, the National Stock Exchange of The Bahamas, and represents a significant advance in the Bahamian capital markets.
BRS represent the medium and long-term debt issued by the Government of The Bahamas, and there will be 220 BRS instruments available for trading with a total face value of $3.6 billion. BRS will be listed with maturities ranging from 1 year to 30 years.
During 2017, the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of The Bahamas (Central Bank) and BISX embarked on a three-year project, to facilitate the listing and full electronic trading of BRS on the Exchange. As a result of these efforts, the Central Bank became a BISX Broker Member on 19th July 2019, all BRS were approved for listing on BISX on 1st August 2019, and now the trading of all BRS will commence during July 2020. BISX Brokers will be able to trade BRS on behalf of their clients, with all transactions being settled through the Bahamas Government Securities Depository.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon K. Peter Turnquest stated “This is another milestone in the evolution of the Bahamian capital markets, and delivers on a key component of our overall initiative to strengthen the public debt management framework and promote the development of the Government bond market. In the long term, it will facilitate the issuance of these securities and help to reduce the Government’s overall funding costs. Investors will also benefit from the greater ease of purchasing and transacting these instruments. We are proud to be one of the first Caribbean nations to trade our public debt via our national stock exchange. We look forward to working with BISX on other projects that benefit Bahamian investors.”
John Rolle Governor of the Central Bank of The Bahamas noted: “We are happy to have been a part of this project which is integral to the development of our domestic financial market infrastructure. Trading of fixed rate government securities creates important benchmarks for investors and other issuers that can then be used in evaluating the rates of other issuers. As a part of this project, the Central Bank also became a BISX Broker Dealer Member in order to play a role in this regulated market.”
Andrew Strachan, Chairman of BISX commented on this milestone noting: “This project involved a significant effort on the part of the entire BISX, Central Bank and Ministry of Finance staff. We are proud of this foundational development in the Bahamian capital markets and the benefit that it will have to Government, to issuers and to Bahamian investors.”
Keith Davies, the Chief Executive Officer at BISX commented, “From its inception, the goal of BISX was to list and trade Government securities; therefore, this 20 year in the making achievement is a milestone, not only for the Exchange but for our country. I am delighted that we have finally accomplished this goal. There were some challenges along the way, however, the three organizations worked together to arrive at this trading day. We have prepared a system that will allow for the seamless trading of BRS, utilizing our electronic trading system in a regulated electronic exchange. Today is certainly historic.”
BRS will be viewable on their own specific section of the BISX website with information for each instrument located separately.