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Asia Pacific Stock Exchange set for re-launch
The business formerly known as Australia Pacific Exchange has been relaunched as a securities trading venue under its more recent name of Asia Pacific Exchange (APX).

In a media release proclaiming its return to the capital markets, APX said it has been granted a securities exchange market licence by ASIC, and is in the final stages of establishing its systems to be market ready.

Following on from the launch of the Nomura-backed alternative Australian equities trading venue, Chi-X, when it’s up and running APX will become the third trading venue to operate in Australia. However, unlike Chi-X, APX will not be dealing in ASX-listed securities. Instead, the venue will favour new “growth-oriented” stocks in Australia and China, according to Joe Youssef, CEO designate for the new business.

In yesterday’s media release, APX said it will be linking Australian capital markets into Asia by providing:

    listing facilities and capital raising opportunities to companies and issuers;   and
    trading facilities for stockbrokers, traders, and investors alike.

The main feature of the APX business model is that it will be providing these facilities in a multi-currency and multi-lingual format, with an initial focus on China and Australia. APX will also operate a cash market offering trading in company shares, unit trusts and pooled investments and fixed interest securities.

APX said it will be “listee and participant friendly” with “an extremely competitive pricing structure”, although Youssef declined to provide specific details.

There will be no short selling and no over-the counter (OTC) derivatives permitted on the new exchange, and all listees will be required to follow ASIC’s regulations, which Youssef asserted will act as a counter to recent negative publicity over Chinese company failings in other jurisdictions, such as the US.

AB+F comment: The timing and market that this new exchange is pitched towards is well-judged, to say the least. The fact that the proposed merger between the Australian and Singapore exchanges was given the thumbs-down by the Foreign Investment Review Board, and subsequently rejected by the federal treasurer, Wayne Swan, the way has been left open for a niche player to bridge the gap between Australian companies and Asian equity investors, and it looks like APX is jumping in.

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