'Caribbean stock exchanges should target Diaspora'
THE recently concluded 9th Jamaica Stock Exchange Conference held at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, drew attention to companies that should increasing look to the regional bourses to finance their operations.
However Denis St Bernard, director of the Caribbean Enterprise Network UK (CENUK)/Priority Group believes that Caribbean exchanges should also look further afield to the Diaspora, where companies there are looking for a presence in the Caribbean.
He noted that such an approach is timely as the region faces fiscal and foreign direct investment (FDI) challenges.
St Bernard, who was one of the moderators of the Conference took time to speak with Caribbean Business Report (CBR) and said that collectively the Caribbean stock exchanges would be a potent force in securing the required global funding to assist growth throughout the region, along with giving companies in the UK Caribbean Diaspora a number of investment opportunities both from the supply side (those wanting to list their companies on the various Caribbean exchanges (CXN)) and on the demand side (those wanting to invest in those companies listed on the exchanges.
St Bernard commended the work done to date by head of the Eastern Caribbean Stock Exchange, Trevor Blake , Barry Blenman and Donna Hope of the Barbados Stock Exchange and Marlene Street Forrest and Robin Levy of the Jamaica Stock Exchange. He added that their work has made the region a viable proposition for global investors.
Street Forrest announced that measures have been put in place to strengthen the Caribbean Exchange Network (CXN) in an effort to see to it that Caribbean investors and brokers would have better access to all the exchanges. She declared that the technology is ready, the regulatory framework is in place and all the exchanges are committed. However, what is outstanding is the registration of the brokers with the Securities Exchange Commission which should be in place by the end of the first half of this year.
"The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has already expressed some interest in assisting our regional exchanges in accessing global markets but a lot of work remains to be done on the regional level to make this a reality," said St Bernard.