March was a great month for the CSE. From the record high trading volumes to the increased number of trades and the growing list of institutional partners, the CSE is continuing to fulfill its pledge to be “The Exchange for Entrepreneurs.”
The strength of the listed market was impressive. Two major components drove the growth – attractive listings that captured the imagination of retail investors as well as the attention of professional traders. This dynamic formula manifested itself in gains posted by the big banks of between 50 and 100 percent of their previous month’s trading figures. Additionally, when factoring in the performance gains from loyal, medium-tiered dealers, the numbers demonstrate that the Exchange is moving in the right direction and gaining traction.
March trading metrics speak volumes
Never in the past 11 years of CSE’s history has it seen a trading month that rivalled what was experienced in March 2014. Key trading metrics across the board attained all-time highs on CSE’s listed-market, including the following metrics for March:
Trades: 38,278 Total Volume: 310,645,194 Total Value: $105,276,255 Avg Price per Share: $0.34
When compared to the previous month it becomes apparent how significantly trading activity can move within a 30 day period:
Trades: 8,690 (up 440% in March ’14) Total Volume: 137,936,188 (up 225% in March ’14) Total Value: $23,778,038 (up 443% in March ’14) Avg Price per Share: $0.17 (up 200% in March ’14)
Even more dramatic is the comparison of trading activity from March of last year. Looking at the following numbers for March 2013 demonstrates how much CSE trading has gained traction over the past 12 months:
March 2013 Trades: 3,890 (up 984% in March ’14) Total Volume: 82,839,702 (up 375% in March ’14) Total Value: $7,810,053 (up 1348% in March ’14) Avg Price per Share: $0.09 (up 377% in March ’14)
Of course, a chart of recent trading on CSE says it all (click to enlarge):
Continuing to Build
Although online access is an on-going concern, CSE sees continued reason for optimism. This past month it was positive to see bank-owned dealers contribute to the bump in trading, including Scotia iTrade, who joined the list of online brokerages that have enabled online trading for CSE stocks.
There is still a lot of work ahead for CSE but the performance numbers from March validate a sentiment that the Exchange has championed all along: “if they want to trade, they will find a way to access the market.”
The CSE is happy to announce another key addition to the ranks of online discount brokers connected to the exchange by welcoming Scotia iTRADE®, who are now offering its clients online trade execution services for the CSE.
Formally announced in a press release that can be read here, this is a significant development for CSE and the investment community in Canada. Scotia iTRADE® is a popular platform for Canadian investors and another venue through which retail investors can access CSE stocks. We applaud Scotia for responding to client demand and adding this service.
Acknowledging the significance of this development, CSE CEO Richard Carleton had the following comment:
“As one of Canada’s largest online brokers, Scotia iTRADE is an extremely important part of the investment community,” said Richard Carleton, CEO of CNSX Markets Inc. “Scotia iTRADE’s provision of CSE client online trading and CSE market information services marks an important milestone in our efforts to increase visibility and access to the exchange. On behalf of our listed companies and their investors, we welcome Scotia iTRADE to the CSE”
Making life easier for public companies is at the forefront of everything we do at CSE. Some examples include:
No Transaction Reviews! CSE offers a streamlined regulatory environment that saves issuers significant management and administrative time;
Low Cost Structure! Costs and overhead on CSE are contained by virtue of our flat monthly maintenance fee ($500) – there are no additional fees for filings or ordinary course transactions, and no percentage charged for financings conducted by listed companies; and
Free Real-Time data via Google Finance! CSE provides market access and liquidity on a transparent auction market for Canadian investors – the only Canadian exchange to offer free real-time data via Google Finance.
This session is essential for anyone who is interested in learning how to reduce their regulatory burden and costs by being listed on CSE.
The March 31st deadline to apply for OSC participation fee relief is just around the corner. As a reminder, earlier this year OSC Staff Notice 13-704 mentioned that certain reporting issuers (class 1 and 3C) and smaller registered companies may be eligible for OSC participation fee relief.
According to the OSC, this initiative was developed as a response to the challenging conditions faced by market participants, specifically those who experienced significant decreases in market capitalization (for reporting issuers) and revenues (for registered companies).
For reporting issuers, the fee relief may range from $160 to $13,350 and for registered firms, the range is projected to be between $235 and $17,725. The notice states that most firms will end up qualifying at the lower end of the range.
To help ensure the application process goes smoothly, it is recommended that supporting documentation be provided on how previous fiscal market cap has been calculated.
The full details on eligibility, documentation and support can be found by clicking on the following link. There is no cost to apply.
The CSE continues to expand market access to its listed securities and can now confirm that in addition to order-entry, RBC Direct Investing is now fully connected with CSE real-time data enabling investors to trade CSE stocks with the full advantage of real-time quotes.
RBC Direct Investing is one Canada’s most popular online brokerages and has allowed clients the benefit of order-entry of CSE stocks for several years. For more information on RBC Direct, visit their website at rbcdirectinvesting.com
The CSE is happy to report that the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have included the CSE to changes made to Multilateral CSA Notice 45-312 – Proposed Prospectus Exemption for Distributions to Existing Security Holders. This rule applies in all provinces except Ontario and Newfoundland, and we are encouraging those jurisdictions to climb aboard ASAP.
It should be noted that the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) will also be introducing several capital raising prospectus exemptions in the coming week – more to come on this topic as details emerge.
In effect, this exemption allows companies to raise funds from existing shareholders via private placements without having them meet other exemption criteria such as accredited investor status. Incumbent investors will benefit from expanded investment opportunities as a result of this exemption – a win-win for listed companies and their shareholders.
The recent interest in marijuana as an investment idea is garnering more than just a little buzz from the investment community and beyond.
As the regulatory landscape around marijuana continues to evolve in the US and here in Canada the conversation has also begun to change. The concerns, it appears, have been shifting away from whether or not it is acceptable to use, and towards understanding circumstances for appropriate use and how best to structure as well as regulate the cultivation, processing, distribution and (of course) taxation.
While some of the conversation on the wave of ‘ganjapreneurs’ is tongue-in-cheek (see Stephen Colbert’s recent view on the matter here), the Canadian conversation is currently focused on how marijuana for medicinal purposes can be made more widely available.
Another recent addition to the CSE listed company roster – Next Gen Metals (CSE:N) – has also identified itself as a participant in the hemp and medical marijuana space having recently created a division to address this market opportunity. Southbridge Resources (CSE:SOU), a CSE listed company, also recently announced that they are making possible inroads into the sector with the potential acquisition of Vodis Innovative Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Without question, the road ahead on marijuana as investment appears to be paved with uncertainties. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs and investors are already at work trying to find where and when ‘budding’ opportunities in the ‘pot-com’ industry are going to present themselves next.
This year’s PDAC was a great opportunity to connect with the mining & exploration industry, government, investors and more. For the Canadian Securities Exchange it was particularly eventful because in addition to having a very busy booth at the Investor’s Exchange, our team was also involved in keynote addresses, panels, networking events (including the parties!) and interviews.
The PDAC has continued to be the conference where mining and exploration companies and investors (big and small) converge to talk about the state of the industry, raise capital and talk about what’s coming next.
With so much going on, there’s no shortage of things to reflect on, however here is a sample of what we got up to at the convention and our thoughts on what the remainder of 2014 holds for the industry.
Our conference swag also brought in curious passers by who were interested in getting their “shine on” with our CSE-branded screen wipes and shoe shiners.
There were lots of exciting conversations, sessions and activities outside of the exhibition hall that we participated in. Here are some of the highlights:
Mining Outlook Luncheon
One of the first big events was the sold-out mining outlook luncheon. Deputy Chairman of the CSE, Ned Goodman, was the keynote speaker at this session and he provided the audience with an entertaining and thoughtful perspective of the current state of the global economy with a particular focus on currency and gold. We’ve pulled together an interesting selection of tweets from folks in the audience at the presentation.
An Exchange with the Exchanges
CSE’s CEO Richard Carleton participated in the panel discussion on the role that stock exchanges can play in assisting mining (and in particular junior mining) and exploration companies in navigating the current capital raising crisis. Joining Richard on the panel was Eddie Grieve of the Australian Stock Exchange, Francis Stenning of Bolsa de Valores de Lima, Peru and John McCoach of the TSX Venture Exchange.
At this event Richard outlined some important points about what exchanges can do and what other stakeholder partners can do in order to help companies adapt to the new market realities. On the exchange side, the CSE is lowering the cash and operational burden for companies to maintain a public listing and making it easier for trading desks to access market data.
Examples of the impact of disclosure policy on companies was also highlighted. The Australian Stock Exchange was shown as an example of an exchange that confronted the issue of regulatory burden and the success and challenges it experienced as a result.
One very interesting point that came up was the idea of regulatory-driven restrictions on the kinds of investments that could be recommended to individuals based on their age. Richard Carleton aptly framed what he found troublesome about this when he pointed out that by restricting the age that certain products could be recommended to individuals, people such as Ned Goodman would be steered away from investing in equities.
Networking Lunch/Make the Switch Seminar
A packed house attended the networking lunch co-sponsored by the CSE, MNP LLP and Chitiz Pathak LLP. Attendees were treated to lunch as well as some food for thought as several CSE-listed companies presented a brief snapshot of their company story. A hats off goes to CSE Senior VP Robert Cook for being able to keep everyone on course during the presentations.
CEO Richard Carleton also provided some brief highlights on the recent performance of the exchange and on the exciting forthcoming developments at the CSE – including further progress with getting more online brokerages to provide online trading and real-time data to their clients.
After the networking lunch, the CSE provided a quick overview of what was involved in transitioning to listing on the CSE, including details on timing and the steps required. For more information on the process, click here.
For those who know Ned Goodman, he is not one to beat around the bush. The electric interview between him and Howard Green of BNN’s Headline was a great snapshot of Ned’s views on gold and on what it takes to successfully run and manage mining companies. Click the following link to access this interview.
The PDAC, especially this year, exemplified the resilient spirit of the mining industry. When faced with adversity, the industry is working creatively to adapt to the current market and the CSE, with its advocacy efforts and solutions for industry partners, is proud to be a part of that solution.
With the number of deals, announcements and meetings that took place at the PDAC, 2014 looks to be an exciting year ahead for the industry and most certainly for the CSE and our partners. We’re grateful for the connections we have made and look forward to building off the positive momentum from PDAC.
CSE was fortunate to have a double-wide booth at PDAC 2014 that it shared with several issuers over the course of the show. We also had the opportunity to connect with all of our listed companies spread across the floor – see the full gallery below: