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Association of Securities Dealers’ education agenda

 

With draft legislation for the new Securities Act completed and on its way to Cabinet, the Bahamas Association of Securities Dealers (BASD) is moving on an education and regulatory agenda to revitalize the capital market in The Bahamas.

Referencing the difficulty facing small and medium sized businesses in raising capital in the country and the need for a true”retirement class”in The Bahamas, the BASD told Guardian Business that the capital markets need to lead the way to a new financial culture. Ivylyn Cassar, President and Director of BASD, and Reece Chipman, Secretary and Director BASD represented the association.

“It is the creation of wealth, jobs, activity, that capital markets do,” said Cassar. “It’s really missing in action right now.”

An effective capital market would act as a catalyst to many industries and professions, creating additional demand for lawyers, accountants, securities investment advisors (SIAs), and broker-dealers, according to Cassar. She added that a such a capital market is the sought-after alternative to bank loans for businesses seeking financing, and will generate income for Bahamians through their retirement years, benefiting the individual and country.

“One of the big things with small and medium enterprises is that everyone talks about capital, capital, capital.”said Chipman.”The banks don’t want to lend.”He added the capital markets are the alternative these entrepreneurs are seeking.

One of BASD’s primary goals this year is to sensitize the general public to the opportunities the securities industry and the capital markets represent for them, and to show them how to take advantage of those opportunities.

The BASD executives said the association will strive to teach Bahamians how to raise capital and launch a business, prepare a prospectus, find investors, and how to work with the Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX) to take a company public.

Another thrust of the sensitization effort will be to teach Bahamians how to let their money make money for them, the BASD executives said.

“[Capital markets]allow you to see that eventually, I can go to one of the Family islands and live off my interest,”Chipman said.”We want to teach people how to live off their investments.”

According to Chipman Bahamians will”work until they die”without the opportunity to invest for wealth creation and to generate income in the retirement years.”He said the country must invigorate its capital markets now to avoid so many Bahamians falling to this fate.

The BASD executives said they have been working closely with the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, its regulatory body, on the creation of codes of conduct and standards of best practices.

BASD said that the new securities bill contains many features critical to reviving the capital market, including provisions to allow for BASD to become a self-regulating organization(SRO), and a framework for information sharing with international regulatory bodies which may pave the way for The Bahamas to become a signatory ‘A’ of the International Organization of Securities Commissions(IOSCO)Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and Exchange of Information.

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DONALD THOMAS CLEARL
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