The Labuan Financial Services Authority Provides Conditional Approval for Trading Venue in Labuan
Labuan, Malaysia – June 18th, 2020 – The Global Stock Exchange (GSX) Group has today announced the first step towards a major expansion of its presence in Asia. The Labuan FSA, the statutory body responsible for the development and administration of the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC), has conditionally approved the GSX Group’s licence application to officially launch a bespoke digital securities exchange in the Malaysian territory.
This application signals the GSX Group’s intent to launch and administer a regional, regulated stock exchange utilising the best-in-class technology to facilitate digital primary listings and secondary market trading access for equities, bonds, and investment funds.
The move represents a key milestone in the GSX Group’s phased approach to transform Financial Markets Infrastructure (FMI) through innovations in blockchain, and signifies a concerted effort from GSX to build its presence in Asia, with the Group already operating offices in Singapore and Hong Kong. Subject to GSX complying with a small number of conditions issued by the FSA, this new Asia arm of the GSX Group will provide access to an SME focused marketplace offering a trading venue for digital securities. Andrew Pal, former Chief Strategy Officer at GSX Group, has been selected to lead this new Asia entity.
Commenting on the announcement, Andrew Pal, CEO of GSX Asia, said, “The expansion of the GSX Group’s Asian presence comes at an opportune time, considering the heightened demand for sustainable and tradable financial products in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region, especially with regards to SME issuance. We fundamentally want to address the current disequilibrium between buy-side demand, particularly by pension funds, for regulated ESG products and for the issuance of companies looking to raise capital, with sell-side facilitators, including exchanges and banks offering finance. With this in mind, we are very excited to create a reliable venue to broaden the accessibility of capital in the region.”
Located in one of the fastest growing fintech regions in the world, the Labuan IBFC is well positioned to provide opportunities for businesses to widen their exposure to key Asian markets. Farah Jaafar-Crossby, CEO, IBFC commented on the approval, saying, “We welcome GSX Asia to Labuan IBFC’s ever growing digital fraternity comprising more than 44 license holders presently. As a digitally friendly jurisdiction, we welcome players who seek to be licensed in a well-regulated and supervised jurisdiction, offering a wide scope of solutions “housed” in a tax and currency neutral ecosystem. Additionally, I am looking forward to working with GSX Asia on initiatives related to financial inclusion in Asia.”
Nick Cowan, CEO of GSX Group, said, “Today marks yet another important milestone on our journey to build a global network of digital securities exchanges. With our licence application conditionally approved by the Labuan FSA, this represents another firm seal of regulatory approval pertaining to our ongoing efforts to transform the global capital markets. We look forward to working with the IBFC and contributing to the vibrant fintech sector that is rapidly evolving in Labuan. We can’t wait to begin servicing our pipeline of clients, while showcasing the many benefits a digital securities exchange can bring to the region.”