MERJ Exchange Limited

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MERJ Exchange Limited (formerly known as Trop-X (Seychelles) Limited), is the licensed securities exchange of the Seychelles and operates markets for the listing and trading of equities, debt, derivatives, Forex products and digital assets. It is part of the MERJ Group of Companies that also includes MERJ Clearing and Settlement Limited (MERJ CLEAR) and MERJ Depository and Registry Limited (MERJ DEP). Collectively, the MERJ Group Companies are licensed to operate and regulate the end to end infrastructure of the exchange.

In 2019 MERJ rebranded from Trop-X to MERJ. On 7 August 2019 MERJ became the first regulated market globally to list a tokenised equity.[1]

MERJ EXCHANGE went live August 2013 with the listing of State Assurance Corporation of Seychelles (SACOS) on the Main Board of its Equities Market.[2]

As at July 2019, MERJ EXCHANGE had 31 listed securities on its three equities boards and a total market capitalization of US$330 million.

History

In June 2013, Trop-X became a Partner member of the Association of National Numbering Agency (ANNA) and is the sole issuer of Seychelles (SC) International Securities Identification Numbers ("ISINs") pursuant to ISO 6166.[3]

In November 2014, Trop-X launched its Derivatives Market which includes multiple US Dollar denominated and settled contracts for differences (CFDs) on major international currency pairs, commodities, equities indices, single stock equities from the US and UK markets and ETFs.

In February 2016, Investment Frontier published a list of the "8 Smallest Stock Markets in the World", with only 4 listed stocks with a total capitalisation of US$43 million Trop-X was named the "Worlds Smallest Stock Exchange" a title it had held since commencing operations in 2012 [4]Template:Verify credibility

On 4 Jul 2016 Seychelles Breweries Ltd (Seybrew) became the fourth local company to commence trading on Trop-X, listing 12,600,000 ordinary shares representing 100% of the issued share capital of the company. It was reported that no new shares were issued and no existing shareholder had announced intentions to sell.

Since June 2018, Trop-X became a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA)-a global standards organization aiming to deliver common, open standards and architecture to accelerate the adoption of Enterprise Ethereum.

On 7 August 2019, MERJ EXCHANGE listed its own ordinary shares in the form of a security tokens on its Main Board, trading under ticker symbol- "MERJ-S". This was the first public equity in the form of a security token listed on a regulated national securities exchange in the world.

Operations

MERJ EXCHANGE operates a vertically integrated fully electronic securities exchange, clearing, settlement and registry platform with real time gross settlement which eliminates settlement risk for participants of MERJ EXCHANGE. Listing and trading is available in US Dollars (USD), AUD Dollars (AUD), Euros (EUR), British Pounds (GBP), Seychelles Rupees (SCR) and South African Rand (ZAR).

MERJ EXCHANGE is building a global securities and digital asset exchange ecosystem with direct market access for global traders and market intermediaries. Listing rules and market rules are in line with international best practices such as the latest IOSCO principles, as well as the Principles for Financial Market Infrastructure (PFMI). The rules are however adapted for Seychelles, taking into consideration the types of products being offered and framework within which many issuers and investors must operate globally.

Seychelles offers a suite of laws and resulting products making it ideally suited for creation and listing of alternative listed securities such as various types of investment funds (master-feeder, funds of funds, ETFs, actively managed ETFs, hedge funds, venture capital funds and more), derivatives, structured products and debt programs all of which can be denominated and settled in any of several different currencies given that there are no exchange control restrictions in Seychelles.

MERJ EXCHANGE offers membership to both local securities dealers and others who are members of exchanges in any "recognized jurisdiction" (i.e. remote membership) as provided for under the Securities Act. Recognized jurisdictions include all of the major financial centers and offshore financial centers including fellow African Union members South Africa and Mauritius.

MERJ EXCHANGE is an Affiliate Member[5] of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), a full Member of the Committee of Southern African Development Community Stock Exchanges (CoSSE), a full Member[6] of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA), a Partner member of the Association of National Numbering Agency (ANNA) and a partner exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative.[7]

Markets

Equities Market

The Exchange offers three equities boards on which companies can list; namely the Main Board, Small and Medium Enterprise Board (SME) and Venture Capital Board (VCAP).

Derivatives Market

MERJ EXCHANGE offers a broad range of USD settled listed derivatives on underlying assets much including currencies, commodities, equity indices, equity securities, bonds, ETFs and interest rates. Through its derivatives market, the Exchange provides a neutral, level playing field for all market participants, regardless of status, size or activity levels.

Debt Market

MERJ EXCHANGE launched its debt market March 2016 with the listing of a South African Rand (ZAR) denominated short term money market program. The Debt Market includes provisions for issuance of all types including convertible bonds, money market instruments, zero-coupon bonds and more.

Clearing Agency

MERJ Clearing and Settlement Limited (MERJ CLEAR), formerly known as AfriClear Limited, is a licensed clearing agency that is regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA) to provide clearing and settlement services under the Seychelles Securities Act. Being licensed since November 2012, MERJ CLEAR is the appointed Clearing Agency associated with MERJ EXCHANGE to provide clearing and settlement services for the listed securities. MERJ CLEAR is also an approved operator of a national securities clearing and settlement system by the Central Bank of Seychelles pursuant to the National Payment Systems Act 2014 .

Securities Registry

MERJ Depository and Registry Limited (MERJ DEP), formerly known as AfriDep Limited, provides depository and registry services in support of MERJ EXCHANGE and MERJ CLEAR. The services provided by MERJ DEP also includes depository services relating to digital assets qualifying as "eligible assets" that are issued on supported blockchain platforms (e.g.: security tokens issued on Ethereum). MERJ DEP is a licensed Securities Facility under the Seychelles Securities Act since November 2012 and is regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA).[8]

Regulation

MERJ EXCHANGE is regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority. The Seychelles Financial Services Authority was established under the Financial Services Authority (FSA) Act, 2013, and is the regulator for non-bank financial services in the Seychelles. Previously known as Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA), it is the Authority responsible for licensing, supervision and development of the non-bank financial services industry of the Seychelles[9]. The FSA is also an associate member of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)[10].

References

Template:World Federation of Exchanges