Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Regional exchanges to adopt new platform next month

Published:Friday | January 27, 2017 | 1:00 AMSteven Jackson
General Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, Marlene Street Forrest.

The stock exchanges in the region will switch to a new trading platform next month, according to Marlene Street Forrest, general manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).

The original plan was to migrate by year end 2016.

"We are going to migrate to a new platform by February 6," said Street Forrest in an address on Thursday at the JSE Capital Markets Conference in New Kingston.

The stock exchanges in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago will migrate to a new Web trading platform, which brings the exchanges closer together and with the option of integration in the future.

In early 2016, South Africa-based Securities Trading Technology (STT) won the contract to provide the new trading platform to the three exchanges.

"We worked together so that the trading platform is shared by all three, and it will reduce the cost of transactions to the investing public," Street Forrest said.

The three exchanges together list a combined 119 equities, she said. The talk of a single Caribbean Stock Exchange the CXN gained momentum in 1989 when the Caricom Heads of Government reportedly put forward the idea of developing a regional capital market as a component of the then proposed Caricom Single Market & Economy.

"The exchanges have done quite a bit of work in terms of putting the technology together to ensure that brokers in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad can trade seamlessly. However, we have not been able to go to the next step, in terms of cross registration, and that is a hurdle we can iron out in the future. The new brokers that are coming on the platform, we hope, will take the lead to make that happen," Street Forrest reported.

STT, founded in 1985, offers technology platforms to numerous exchanges on the African continent and beyond. The company specialises in the development of exchange solutions to back-office management systems and front-end trading tools.

"It will offer one book of securities traded seamlessly across all exchanges," said the head of the Barbados Stock Exchange, Marlon Yarde, at the conference.

The new system will be a Web-based interface. It allows for the trading of multiple asset classes from a single interface and to add new products quickly.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com