Tuesday, July 9, 2019
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
The Bahamas International Securities Exchange’s (BISX) chief executive yesterday said market feedback on its proposed rules changes has been “very light” ahead of the results being submitted to regulators later this month.
Keith Davies told Tribune Business that formal submissions had been incorporated into the submissions that the exchange is readying for the Securities Commission, which will have the final say on whether to approve alterations to its trading, listing and issuer obligation rules.
With the 30-day consultation process having ended, Mr Davies said several responses received by BISX had sought clarification on what the exchange was doing and why. “Once we were able to answer the questions, people were satisfied,” he added.
Explaining that the main purpose behind the consultation exercise had been to lay out what the exchange was thinking, and obtain ideas from market participants, the BISX chief added: “What happens now is we take all the information, collate it all, and if necessary make any amendments in relation to what we have received. Then it goes to the Securities Commission.
“At that point it’s in the commission’s hands, and we would hope they have a quick turnaround. Once that is completed, and the commission approves any changes, we will publish that and let people know when it will be enforced.
“We give the commission every comment we receive. They see everything. We don’t separate it. We sent them everything so they are aware and, where necessary, may comment on what was submitted to they understand we addressed the issue, and whether we agree or disagree, and what influence the comment had on the final decision,” Mr Davies continued.
“We really want to respect the comments sent in so people don’t think it was a pointless exercise.” He added that BISX planned to send the results to the Securities Commission later this month, with the timing of any changes dependent on how the rule is applied - whether annually, monthly or on trades when they happen.
Among the proposed rule changes was BISX’s desire to obtain a share in each of its listed companies so it can determine if they are meeting their disclosure obligations, as the exchange aimed to make its interactions with the market “faster, cheaper and more digital”.
Other proposed changes were requirements for BISX’s publicly traded companies to file interim financial statements within 45 days of quarter end, rather than the current 90 days, to bring the exchange’s rules in line with the Securities Industries Regulations 2012.
It also proposed that companies issue their annual reports and audited accounts “not less than 21 days” before an annual general meeting (AGM), with these details prepared within 120 days of the financial year-end. This, again, was to bring BISX’s rules in line with the Securities Industry Act.
Mr Davies yesterday said BISX was exploring “doing another set of revisions that are more general in nature to streamline the rules to be consistent across phrases and terminology, just to keep them up to date”.