On Monday 14 October, the Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX) announced to members that certain of its historic activities have been under investigation by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC).
Jon Moulton, Chairman of the CISX, said that the investigations do not relate to current matters but are ongoing and that the CISX has decided not to accept new listings at the current time while it establishes an alternative corporate structure to segregate the historic issues from the operating business.
The CISX has published an operational statement which provided more detail on what this means in practice for current and potential future issuers.
Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island’s finance industry internationally, says: “We welcome this operational statement as importantly it provides clients with greater certainty about the current and future direction of the exchange.
“Firstly, it is important to recognise that the CISX is still accepting certain listings applications from existing debt issuers, existing trading companies and existing open and closed ended funds. In addition, the exchange has clarified that whilst it is not currently processing any new applications for issuers that are not already listed on the exchange, it has sole and absolute discretion to consider applications on a case by case basis.
“This clarification is extremely useful to clients and the next stage will be for the CISX to advise members in due course of the newly structured exchange. Mr Moulton stated on Monday that he hopes proposals for the new exchange will be available in around one month and we await further information on this in order to provide certainty for clients of the CISX in both Guernsey and Jersey.”
Kevin Stewart (pictured), Guernsey’s Commerce and Employment Minister, says: “Following constructive discussions today, I would like to reiterate that there remains active dialogue with a range of stakeholders, including engagement with the Chairman of CISX in his efforts to review the structure of the exchange. The GFSC has also given a commitment to work closely with the CISX. In the immediate term, I have been assured that personnel at the CISX are committed to continuing to work closely with trading partners in order to assess and manage the ongoing business needs of existing clients.”
Vic Holmes, Chairman of the Guernsey Investment Fund Association (GIFA), says: “Clearly the initial news concerning the CISX has been extremely disappointing for the local investment community and also our client base. However, I am pleased to see the way in which the CISX is working with government, the regulator and industry now to provide greater clarity to our clients. This operational statement is very much welcomed and we now look forward to news about the structure of a new exchange.”
Gregg Le Tissier, Chairman of the Guernsey Investment Managers and Stockbrokers Association (GIMSA), says: “The last few days have been an extremely challenging time for our members, many of whom have a very close relationship with the CISX as market makers and sponsors. Hopefully the release of this operational statement means that we have begun to turn the corner and can transition speedily to the new exchange.”
Miss Le Poidevin adds: “The CISX has been an important part of the fabric of the funds and wider investment management industry in the Channel Islands for the last 15 years and we are now also working closely with our colleagues in Jersey to ensure that this will remain the case in the future. The operational statement issued by the exchange allows advisers to give their clients greater clarity and we look forward to receiving further information regarding a newly structured exchange which will play its part in ensuring the ongoing success of the Channel Islands as premier investment centres for many years to come.”