July 22, 2019 / 2:24 PM / a month ago

Switzerland's SIX to launch marijuana data service

(Reuters) - SIX, the operator of Switzerland’s stock exchange, said it plans to launch a data service for more than 30,000 securities connected to marijuana related businesses (MRB) to help investors assess their exposure to cannabis-linked companies.

Aimed at investors who don’t want their money being used for buying securities involved in producing alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs, the service identifies and lists securities that are either directly or indirectly issued by listed MRBs.

The fact that MRB-related securities can span several sectors, including pharmaceutical, recreational, transport and retail, makes it complex for firms hoping to control their exposure, SIX said in a statement.

"Investing in MRB poses considerable challenges for companies with some countries in Europe considering it as money laundering," SIX said here

“As a result, it is crucial for firms worldwide to know exactly how much exposure they have to MRB-related securities, and which category the securities fall into to meet regulatory requirements,” it added.

In 2018 Canada became the first industrialized nation to legalize recreational use of cannabis, while last month Illinois became the 11th U.S. state to legalize its recreational use .

“As MRB becomes increasingly linked to the capital markets, our clients have been asking us how to best guard against any risk of portfolio exposure,” Oliver Bodmer, Senior Product Manager at SIX, said.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Rachel Armstrong

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