TMX to expand into trading of private market securities

TORONTO, March 25 Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:51am EDT

TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - TMX Group Ltd, the operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange, said on Tuesday it plans to launch a new business to allow capital raising and the trading of securities of privately owned entities.

Toronto-based TMX said the new business dubbed TSX Private Markets will serve companies throughout their evolution from the start-up stage, and further down the road.

"Working with registered dealers, the launch of TSX Private Markets will assist private companies in accessing capital in the key early stages of their development," said Kevan Cowan, the president of TSX Markets and group head of equities at TMX Group, in a statement.

The move to launch the business appears to be a pre-emptive gambit to thwart the threat posed by privately-held Aequitas Innovations Inc, which is in the process of seeking regulatory approval in order to launch a new Canadian stock exchange.

Aequitas, which is being backed by Barclays Plc, BCE Inc, CI Financial Corp, IGM Financial Inc , OMERS Capital Markets and Royal Bank of Canada , among others, had last year outlined plans to also launch a unique trading platform for private securities that would seek to allow for capital raising and liquidity for small and mid-sized issuers.

The TSX Private Markets platform is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2014, subject to final regulatory approval. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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