Jersey: Country and Foreign Investment
The Channel Islands Stock Exchange
The Channel Islands Stock Exchange ("CISX") commenced operations on October 27, 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. In August 2007 the exchange welcomed its 50th member.
The exchange has developed specialist niches in floating property funds, open and closed-ended investment funds, debt, securities and special purpose vehicles and is attracting increasing interest from alternative investment funds. The CISX also lists international trading companies and not just those based in Guernsey.
The 4,000th listing on the exchange occurred on May 19, 2011, when the Market Authority admitted London Mining (Jersey) plc, a special purpose vehicle, listed a $110 million 8% guaranteed convertible debt bond. The listing was sponsored by Walkers Capital Markets Ltd.
In 2012, the exchange experienced trading volumes in excess of 43.1million trades alongside the admission of 510 securities to the Official List. Business was also strong in the Exchange’s other niche markets such as alternative investment funds and structured funds.
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 and structured funds.
In October, 2009, it was announced that Jersey companies have been approved for listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The move is a significant development for Jersey’s finance industry, which is seeking to increase business flows from the Asia Pacific region.
The formal inclusion of Jersey companies on the Hong Kong Exchange’s approved list is the result of more than a year’s negotiation, research and document preparation involving government officials in Jersey, representatives from Jersey Finance, and the finance industry.
The approval enables Jersey’s finance industry to compete on an equal footing with other competitor jurisdictions, which have been established longer in Asia. Jersey has achieved this recognition ahead of some of its closest competitors, including Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
Robert Kirkby, Technical Director of Jersey Finance, commented: “Gaining access to a major capital market such as Hong Kong is further excellent news for Jersey and is a step forward in our ability to attract new business from the region. The move by the Exchange authorities adds weight to Jersey’s reputation as a rigorously supervised, highly regarded jurisdiction and also demonstrates how the market in Asia views the quality and robustness of Jersey company law. Moreover it gives further impetus to the formal opening of our second overseas office in Hong Kong later this month and is very welcome news.”