By: Michael Hobbs
AIMS Financial Group founder George Wang hopes to attract Australian and Chinese companies to his new securities exchange in an attempt to create a platform for companies and investors of both countries.
Asia Pacific Exchange (APX) has been at least three years in the making for Mr Wang after AIMS bought the company in October 2008 and provided funding.
The exchange, set to be relaunched in the first half of this year, is targeting Australian companies seeking to list as well as adding new exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with an Asian focus. Mr Wang said APX would then target Chinese companies to list on the exchange.
“There are many companies in China but it can be very tricky and difficult to list on the Chinese stock exchange due to listing restrictions on things such as revenue requirements,” Mr Wang said.
“Australia is a highly regulated market but it provides the opportunity to a more diverse range of companies and is still in the Asia-Pacific region.”
APX was notified by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission that its revised listing rules had been allowed by Treasury last year.
The next step is approval for its revised business rules, which is expected at the end of March at the earliest. The exchange is also in the middle of stress-testing its new trading system from technology provider TradePort.
A key part of APX’s future success lies with Mr Wang.
Jeremy Tobias, director of business development at APX, said Mr Wang’s contacts across China and Australia were integral to the business strategy.
“George has deep roots in China. He knows the investors in China and the Asian region so we’ll be leveraging those relationships that he’s built up through AIMS,” he said.
Mr Wang has also hired a team that includes former Australian Securities Exchange general manager of operations, David Lawrence, former ASX general manager of legal compliance and supervision, Maria McCrossin, and Mr Tobias, who previously worked at stockbroking firm BBY.
APX’s board includes James Tong, who has 25 years’ experience across stockbroking and banking, mostly at BNP Paribas in Australia and New Zealand; and Greg Bundy, former vice-chairman of Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific.