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VANCOUVER MARKET ANNOUNCES 1991 YEAR IN REVIEW, OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS; VSE NAMED FIBV ASSOCIATE

 VANCOUVER MARKET ANNOUNCES 1991 YEAR IN REVIEW,
 OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS; VSE NAMED FIBV ASSOCIATE
 VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Vancouver Stock Exchange was admitted as an associate member of the world association of stock exchanges -- the Federation Internationale des Bourses de Valeurs (FIBV) -- at its General Assembly meeting in Hong Kong, Oct. 7 to 9. Formerly a corresponding member, the VSE is now a full participant and joins the Montreal Exchange as a Canadian Associate Member. The Toronto Stock Exchange is Canada's full member.
 Aside from the improved credibility afforded by membership, FIBV meetings involve the VSE in dealing with matters of importance to all exchanges and offer the Exchange an opportunity to establish international contacts. The 30-year-old FIBV is currently composed of 31 full members and eight associate members. The next general assembly will be held in Mexico.
 VSE Achieves Two International Sales
 of its Vancouver Computerized Trading System
 The year 1991 saw a growing interest in the VSE's world- recognized Vancouver Computerized Trading (VCT) system. VCT, developed by VSE staff and leading consultants, was sold to the Caracas Stock Exchange in April and the Mexican Stock Exchange in July. Several other international exchanges have also expressed an interest in purchasing the VCT system. In Canada, there are currently 170 active trading terminals. Terminals are active in Member offices in Toronto, where there are 16 (active since Sept. 17, 1990), and Montreal, where there are two. The Montreal terminals were installed Nov. 19, 1991.
 Numerous improvements and upgrades have also been made to VCT since final implementation in January 1990, making it one of the most advanced trading systems in the world. With VCT, Vancouver was the first exchange in North America to convert from a traditional trade floor-based market to an automated trading system.
 Towards 'Certificate-less' Securities Processing
 In 1991, West Canada Depository Trust Company (WCDTC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Vancouver Stock Exchange, spearheaded a pilot project intended to form the basis of a national "certificate-less" securities processing environment.
 The project could eventually eliminate the need to hold physical stock certificates. Instead, the WCDTC would make a notation on its share register which would be electronically reconciled on a daily basis. A certificate-less securities processing environment would also mean a vast reduction in the flow of paper between investors, brokers and transfer agents.
 The project has been supported by the Canadian Depository for Securities and transfer agents across the country. Programming and testing is scheduled for June 1992.
 VSE Recognized in Cross-border Regulatory System
 On July 1, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recognized the Vancouver Stock Exchange Senior Board, along with issues listed on the Toronto and Montreal exchanges, by establishing a cross-border regulatory system with Canadian securities regulators.
 The Multi-Jurisdictional Disclosure System (MJDS) is seen as a milestone in the development of a "borderless" market as it allows eligible Canadian issuers to conduct certain financing activities in the United States using disclosure documents prepared according to the requirements of Canadian securities regulators.
 MJDS offers many benefits including reducing or eliminating the duplication of registration, filing and reporting requirements.
 U.K. Settlement Link Completes First Year in Operation
 The automated securities settlement link with the United Kingdom, established late last year through the VSE subsidiary, West Canada Clearing Corp. (WCCC), completed its first full year in operation.
 The Canada London Automated Settlement Service (CLASS) showed steady growth throughout 1991. At year-end, there were some 791,000 shares, representing 148 U.K. issues and worth $1.5 million, on deposit with West Canada Depository Trust Co.
 CLASS services will be soon be extended to include settlement of trades between Canadian and Australian brokers. WCCC expects the first trades expected to be cleared early in 1992.
 New Listing Initiatives Continue
 to Improve Quality of VSE Listings
 In a bid to help eliminate frivolous listings and improve the quality of VSE-listed companies, a new committee was activated in 1991 to screen all companies prior to listing on the exchange.
 The Pre-Listing Advisory Committee was given the mandate of screening all applications prior to the filing of a prospectus or the initiation of the regulatory process involved in a reverse take-over. Approval of an application by the committee is required in order for it to proceed to vetting by the British Columbia Securities Commission.
 The VSE also implemented an upgraded listings agreement, giving the exchange greater authority to ensure the maintenance of high listings standards. The new agreement sets out the obligations of the listed company and clarifies the manner in which the VSE will use its discretion when the company is affected.
 Included in the agreement is a provision outlining a referral process regarding standards of practice and professional conduct by lawyers and other advisers who file material with the exchange. The provision states that substandard practice encountered by the VSE will be referred to the appropriate professional organization for investigation and possible action.
 The provision is intended to improve the quality of professional advice and to protect the public, listed companies and the exchange.
 Brokerage Package Upgrade Gives VSE New Business Positioning
 A significant upgrade of the VSE's computerized brokerage accounting package enabled the Exchange to take on a major new client based in Eastern Canada. It also provides a strategic positioning in the national brokerage community, giving the VSE the ability to attract more clients from the sizable eastern market.
 The upgrade included the development of an advanced-technology transaction/position database as well as numerous innovations to the brokerage accounting package. The new business means additional volume to the exchange's already substantial brokerage data processing operations.
 The VSE is virtually unique among world exchanges in providing a complete range of brokerage accounting services to brokers and other organizations dealing with securities.
 Annual Statistical Summary
 Trading on the Vancouver Stock Exchange was sluggish early in the year compared to 1990, but gained momentum in the last four months as both volume and value surpassed performance over the same period in the previous year.
 The Vancouver market was influenced by the continued recession, primarily in the resource industry, as both volume and value of shares traded experienced moderate declines. Share volume dropped by 11 percent to 3.7 billion, while value declined by 15 percent to $3.5 billion. The non-resource sector, however, fared better with gains both in volume and particularly value.
 The VSE Composite Index gained 4 percent on the year, as a 63 percent increase in the Commercial/Industrial Index offset declines in the Venture and Resource Indices. The Composite Index ended the year at 547.90, a gain of 11 percent since the historical low of 493.95 set on Jan. 23.
 The Senior Board's share of total VSE volume declined slightly to 16 percent from the previous year while its share of the total value also declined to account for 51 percent of total VSE value. In 1991, half of the Senior Board value was attributable to large transactions ($500,000 and over), as they more than doubled over the previous year to $880 million.
 The VSE's share of total trading among all Canadian exchanges declined in 1991 with volume dropping to 32 percent, from 35 percent last year. The VSE's share of total value declined to 4 percent, down fractionally from last year's 5 percent level.
 Financings for 1991 were down 26 percent from 1990's total, as public offerings by listed companies were down marginally, while initial public offerings and Private Placements experienced sharper declines.
 The top five companies by trading volume were Springer Resources, Cove Resources, Thios Resources, Golden Ring Resources and Barkhor Resources -- all from the Venture section.
 The top five companies by trading value were Clearly Canadian Beverage, BCE, Royal Bank, Toronto Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce -- all from the Commercial/Industrial section (Senior Board).
 A total of 49 companies were newly listed in 1991 compared to 92 companies in 1990. In 1991, 241 companies were delisted, compared to 206 in 1990 and 201 in 1989. The total number of companies listed at year end was 1,915, compared to 2,104 in 1990. In 1991, 25 companies were upgraded to the Senior Board compared to 33 upgrades in 1990.
 Five new Trans Canada equity option classes started trading on the VSE in 1991 -- Finning, Loewen Group, Noranda Forest, Petro- Canada and Royal Trustco. In May, a TCO cleared gold option also started trading. Total TCO trading, at just over 192,000 contracts, was down 36 percent from 1990.
 December Summary
 Market activity in Vancouver slowed in December as both volume and value dropped moderately from the previous month.
 However, the volume during December was up 14 percent over December 1990 at 265 million shares. December's value gained 42 percent over the same period in 1990, to $267 million.
 The Senior Board increased its share of total trading activity to 16 percent of the volume and 57 percent of the value, up from 15 percent and 45 percent respectively, in November.
 Large transactions accounted for 65 percent of Senior Board value as a record $100 million in activity was conducted in Vancouver.
 The VSE's share of total volume on all Canadian exchanges in December increased to 29 percent from 27.5 percent in November. Vancouver's share of Canadian value increased fractionally to 4 percent.
 There were initial public offerings of $3.3 million in December, an increase of 70 percent over the previous month and the largest monthly total of 1991. However, overall financings declined in December from the previous month, due to a 31 percent decline in private placements and a 66 percent drop in public offerings by listed companies.
 The VSE Composite Index shed 4 percent of its value during December to end the month at 547.90. At the end of December, the market capitalization of 1,489 stocks included in the Composite Index was $3.6 billion.
 Of the 2,096 issues listed on the VSE at month end, 82 reached new highs and 369 posted new lows. The most active stocks by volume included: Western Premium Resource Corp. (Venture), WCN Investment Corp. (Venture), War Eagle Mining (Venture), Prime Resources Group (Resource), and International Focus Resources (Resource).
 During the month of December, five companies were newly listed on the VSE, the same number that listed in November, compared to four companies listing in December of 1990. Four of the companies listing this month are involved in the business of exploration, acquisition and development of resource properties,
and one is involved in computer-based training products. Three companies have assets/interests in British Columbia, one has assets/interests in Nevada, and one has assets/interests in both Mexico and Arizona.
 During the month of December six companies were delisted from the exchange.
 Annual
 Five Year Comparison
 (in millions)
 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987
 Volume 3,681 4,128 3,983 3,473 4,795
 Value $3,465 $4,063 $3,821 $3,258 $6,650
 Financings $340 $456 $642 $1,038 $1,364
 -0- 1/7/92
 /CONTACT: David A. Laundy of the Vancouver Stock Exchange, 604-689-3334/ CO: Vancouver Stock Exchange ST: British Columbia IN: SU: ECO


KJ -- LA023 -- 7549 01/07/92 22:16 EST
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