Guernsey: Country and Foreign Investment
The Channel Islands Stock Exchanges
The Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX) commenced operations on 27 October, 1998 with 23 founder members. Its aim is to provide trading and listing of investment funds, debt instruments and shares in companies and to bring the expertise available in the Channel Islands to the expanding network of international businesses requiring expert offshore financial services in the European time-zone. Ownership of the CISX lies in the hands of its listing members, who have to be established in the Channel Islands. Management and control are vested in a board of directors who are elected. Based in St Peter Port, Guernsey, the CISX provides a listing facility and screen-based trading. Trading members do not have to be established in the Channel Islands, but must be licensed, regulated or supervised by a regulatory body in a jurisdiction recognised by the CISX.
The CISX's screen-based trading platform is based on Reuter's Triarch network installed at the Exchange's St Peter Port offices. Reuters has been involved with the financial markets in the Channel Islands for many years, with offices in Guernsey and Jersey in 1984. Reuters was chosen by the CISX because it offers a first class system for the delivery and management of the Exchange's market data. There is also the opportunity to access the considerable communications network and range of information services available from Reuters.
Trading in the shares of local companies may be settled via Crest or Crest Residual. International debt issues, and other eligible issues, may be settled through either Cedel Bank or EuroClear unless otherwise agreed, by the parties to the transaction, at the time of trade.
Since commencing operations, the CISX has grown rapidly, reaching a total of 2,693 listings in December 2012. The exchange prides itself on a personalised approach and fast track processing of listing applications within a highly regulated and innovative marketplace.
In 2012, the exchange experienced trading volumes in excess of 43.10million trades alongside the admission of 510 securities to the Official List. Business continued to be strong in niche markets, in particular in alternative investment funds and specialist debt and there was continuing interest in listing structured funds.
In April 2009, the CISX admitted El Oro Ltd onto its Official List following the El Oro Group’s restructure.
El Oro & Exploration Company Plc, which invests in mining, energy, pub estates and utilities amongst its activities, de-listed from the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM) following the completion of the Group’s re-structure. The new El Oro Ltd, now the parent company of El Oro & Exploration Company Plc, was registered in Guernsey under the Protection of Investors Law as a closed–ended investment company in December 2008 in advance of its listing on the CISX.
Julian Lane, Director of Capita Financial Administration (Guernsey) Limited, who sponsored the Listing, said: “This was something of a first for us with admission coming through conversion of a UK security; however not only has the CISX offered guidance to El Oro throughout the application, their approach has also demonstrated both common sense and pragmatism which eased the admission process.”
On May 27, 2009, Max Property Group Plc was admitted to the Daily Official List of the Channel Islands Stock Exchange. The listing was on a primary basis and the issue of shares constituted the largest Initial Public Offering (IPO) in Europe to date that year.
Max Property Group, a Jersey incorporated closed ended property investment company, was also the first IPO to have listed in the UK market since December 2008.
CISX chief executive, Tamara Menteshvili commented: “We are naturally delighted that the issuer has selected the CISX as their recognised stock exchange. During these difficult trading conditions, it is encouraging for the markets generally to see such a significant listing in the UK property market and the CISX is able to facilitate their strategic aims through the admission to the CISX Daily Official List.”
In September, 2002, the US Securities and Exchange Commission's awarded the Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX) designated offshore securities market status. In December, 2003, the CISX gained approval by the UK Financial Services Authority as a Designated Investment Exchange.
Although the CISX is as open to listings from Jersey as from within Guernsey, in practice the Exchange trades four times as many Guernsey-domiciled securities as those from Jersey. The exchange said in 2004 that it was trying to remedy this imbalance; it is also promoting several new product areas, including eurobonds, floating property funds, open and closed-ended investment funds, debt, securities and special purpose vehicles. The exchange is also attracting interest from alternative investment funds, and plans the listing and trading of products such as insurance related instruments.