Chile’s BEC set to list Nasdaq stocks

By Jude Webber in Buenos Aires

The 20 most active stocks traded on Nasdaq OMX., the transatlantic exchanges operator, are set to be listed on the Bolsa Electrónica de Chile (BEC) as the two bourses bed in a long-term alliance agreed more than a year ago.

On Friday Nasdaq said the new trading platform installed on BEC had gone live, giving the Chilean venue a faster platform than its domestic rival, the Santiago Stock Exchange.

 The move comes as the Chilean government has thrown fresh effort into attracting more foreign investors to Chile’s markets, in particular its debt markets. In Peru nearly half of all fixed income is held by international investors, whereas in Chile that level is just 1 per cent. The new trading platform will be able to trade bonds as well as equities and exchange-traded funds.

Juan Carlos Spencer, BEC general manager, told FT Trading Room the Chilean exchange has invested $7m in the link-up.

“We expect to list the 20 most active stocks on Nasdaq on the BEC in just over a month,” Mr Spencer said. US officials were examining which Chilean companies could in turn be cross-listed on Nasdaq’s venues, he added.

That could be an important step in furthering the international ambitions of Chilean companies, but any cross-listings would still need to comply with national regulations, he noted.

The two parties are also working on a currency futures contract for the US. Nasdaq OMX will provide advice as it is submitted for approval by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Nasdaq’s other currency derivatives include dollar-euro and dollar-yen contracts.

Lars Ottersgård, Senior vice-president and head of market technology at Nasdaq said the new technology platform would make BEC the fastest trading venue in the country.

“If you want to do high frequency or algo [algorithmic] trading, it can handle this,” he said.

Founded more than 20 years ago by a group of banks and broker-dealers, the BEC has more than 40 shareholders and competes for domestic supremacy with the Santiago Stock Exchange. Mr Ottersgård said the new trading platform would help achieve “a better and more functional capital market”.

The alliance will also see Nasdaq and BEC work on new indices and expand existing ones.

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