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VSE ENJOYS STRONGEST RESULTS IN SIX YEARS

 VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- In fiscal 1992-93, the Vancouver Stock Exchange experienced its strongest market in recent years and much improved financial performance.
 Trading activity in the second half of the year boosted the Exchange's overall performance, with fourth quarter volume the second highest on record and the highest since 1987. The number of new listings increased as did financings by already-listed companies, and there was further evidence of the retail investors' return in growing numbers to the equity markets.
 Several factors contributed to the solid market performance. Speculative diamond exploration in the Northwest Territories and Venezuelan gold exploration had a positive effect on both trading activity and stock prices. Other influences included a broad interest in the growing number of commercial/industrial companies listed on the exchange and a modest increase in oil and gas exploration.
 The annual total trading volume of 4.1 billion shares was up 5 percent over the previous year, while value of shares eased fractionally over 1991-92 at $3.8 billion. Senior board companies experienced the greatest growth in trading activity, with increases of 30 percent in volume and 35 percent in value.
 This strong trading activity led to much improved financial results. Before special and non-operating items, the exchange had a surplus of $933,000, and after business development expenditures and a write-down of leasehold improvements for the trading floor, at $450,000, the exchange showed a surplus of $207,000.
 Summarizing the year's activities, VSE Chairman Brian Harwood pointed to the increasing presence of retail investors in equity markets. "We are finally seeing investment flowing into equities throughout North America as returns on savings accounts, bonds, and money market instruments remain low," Harwood said. "This is of particular importance to Vancouver where the retail investor is of greater direct significance."
 The VSE Composite Index rose sharply in the final quarter of the fiscal year to close at 809.92. The Resource Index led the way with a 62 percent gain ending the year at 899.39. Gains were also experienced by the Venture Index which was up 17 percent. The share of market capitalization represented by venture stocks increased to 72 percent in March 1993, up from 64 percent in 1992.
 Financings, at $451 million, were also up over 1992-93. Results show a 12 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, spurred by a 43 percent increase in financings by the mining sector.
 Despite a positive year, Vancouver's share of the Canadian equity market declined to 26.2 percent from 32.3 percent of total volume in the previous year, and to 3.4 percent from 4.2 percent of the total value.
 There were 31 new listings on the VSE last year, approximately half of which were resource companies, most involved in mining exploration. The remaining new listings were evenly divided between high-technology and non-resource companies involved in activities such as manufacturing and real estate. Twelve of the newly-listed companies had interests in the United States.
 A company can also go public by means of a reverse take-over (RTO), which occurs when a non-listed company assumes control of one already listed on the VSE. A total of 31 RTOs occurred last year, all of which involved non-resource companies. Although most of the RTOs were based in British Columbia, some originated in the United States, Japan and Iceland.
 Operational highlights during 1992/93 include:
 -- The introduction of a pilot securities arbitration project, in conjunction with the Investment Dealers Association, designed to resolve disputes between investors and member firms;
 -- International sales of the Vancouver Computerized Trading system to the Istanbul Stock Exchange and Tradepoint Financial Networks, a European trading system scheduled to begin operation this fall;
 -- Negotiations resulting in an improved linkage between West Canada Depository Trust Co. (WCDTC) and the Canadian Depository for Securities, thereby enhancing operating efficiencies of both depositories;
 -- Considerable progress with the Non-Certificated Inventory initiative pioneered by WCDTC to electronically replace stock certificates, and scheduled for implementation this year; and
 -- The introduction of Long-Term Equity AnticiPation Series (LEAPS), a new series of options with expiry dates of up to two years.
 As of March 1993, there were 46 VSE member firms holding a total of 70 seats.
 The Vancouver Stock Exchange was incorporated on April 25, 1907, and has completed its 86th year of uninterrupted operation.
 -0- 6/11/93
 /CONTACT: David A. Laundy of the Vancouver Stock Exchange, 604-689-3334/


CO: Vancouver Stock Exchange ST: British Columbia IN: FIN SU:

MF-LS -- LA021 -- 1284 06/11/93 18:26 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 11, 1993
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