The Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE), has since mid-year, been recognised by United Kingdom’s (UK) Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as a ‘Designated Recognised Stock Exchange’ .
Managing Director of the BSE, Marlon Yarde noted that, “the recognition of the BSE as a “recognised stock exchange” under Section 1005 of the United Kingdom Income Tax Act (UK-ITA), represents a significant milestone in the BSE’s continued development. This will not only enhance the profile of Barbados as an internationally recognised financial center – it will also provide an avenue for sustainable and progressive development of the capital markets within Barbados and the wider Caribbean Community region.”
Yarde noted, “the vision of having securities admitted to trading – on the four markets of the BSE – and being recognised as ‘listed’ for the purposes of HMRC legislation was important. For UK investors, this will provide a viable post-Brexit strategy. Accordingly, achieving this HMRC recognition is an integral part of the BSE’s growth into a great and lasting international institution.”
The BSE believes this recognition will drive greater global investor interest in the Caribbean Exchange. Currently, its largest competitor, the Jamaica Stock Exchange has been recognized by the Toronto Stock Exchange as a partner stock exchange.
According to the BSE, the recognition of the BSE by HMRC under the UK-ITA should act to encourage enhanced capital investment by UK investors while providing viable investment alternatives for a wider section of the British public. In addition, it will be of benefit to Barbados and UK investors through the preservation of the following fiscal benefits (as accorded by the UK-ITA):
• securities listed on the BSE(ISM) may be held in tax advantaged Individual Savings Accounts (ISA’s) and Personal Equity Plans (PEP’s) by UK investors
• holders of debt securities satisfying the Eurobond exemption and listed on the BSE(ISM) are exempted from withholding tax on distributions underlying these debt securities
• inheritance tax allowances may accrue to UK holders of securities listed on the BSE(ISM)
• UK pension schemes will be permitted to hold securities listed on the BSE(ISM), giving companies and funds listed on BSE(ISM) access to a larger market of sophisticated, well-capitalized investors.
The pursuit of HMRC recognition was part of the BSE’s “Go Global” strategy – aiding further in the development of the Exchange’s International Securities Market (ISM).