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Up, Running and Waiting

Mar 1, 2002

The East Caribbean Stock Exchange (ECSE), based in St Kitts, has state-of-the-art trading technology, but after five months in business it still has only two listings. Even so, the exchange hopes to attract listings from companies throughout the Caribbean and grow into a regional stock market.
The ECSE boasts the most sophisticated technology in the region. It has the only electronic trading system that can settle trades in one day. It has a centralized depositary system, so unlike other Caribbean stock markets, it does not require investors to hold securities certificates as proof of ownership. Its online information source on publicly held companies, called the Eastern Caribbean Securities Information Network (ECSIN), is equivalent to the US Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR system.

Baljit Vohra, the exchange's general manager, says forlornly that since the market opened, its four broker-dealer firms have traded only 50,000 shares totaling EC$240,000 ($100,000) in the two listed companies....

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