A Bahamian financial services entrepreneur says it plans to launch a junior stock exchange in the 2020 third quarter that will bring investor capital and agribusiness projects together.
D'Arcy Rahming Jr, the project's chief technical officer, said in a statement, said the proposed ArawakX International Securities Exchange will be a regional exchange based in The Bahamas operating under the Securities Commission's regulations and oversight.
He disclosed his ambitions just days after Tribune Business reported that Dr Patrick Antoine, a representative from the Caribbean private sector, said junior stock exchanges can play a key role in channeling equity and debt investments to deserving agriculture projects in the Caribbean.
Dr Antoine's comments came in response to a question posed by minister of agriculture and marine resources, Michael Pintard, during a webinar organised by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
"Minister Pintard has laid out an excellent blueprint of the way forward. And his question of how to use private resources to accelerate growth of the sector, in my opinion, is the correct one. We hope to be able to assist agribusinesses to realise their full potential," said Mr Rahming, a Northwestern University-trained robotics engineer.
"We are currently preparing several agribusinesses for presentation to investors. Our belief is that many regional agribusinesses properly funded will be competitive on a world level."
Mr Rahming, in his capacity as chief executive of MDollaz Technology, last September announced the creation of a crowdfunding platform also bearing the Arawak brand. MDollaz' website shows the company is chaired by D'Arcy Rahming Snr, Mr Rahming's father, who also holds the chief executive position.
Other board members include former Securities Commission executive director, Hillary Deveaux; ex-Commonwealth Brewery managing director, Leroy Archer; technology specialist, Peter Bridgewater; Leno Corporate Services chief, Brian Jones; and Robertson Dieudonne, owner of the Basic Needs retail business.
Mr Rahming Jnr said research has shown that many Caribbean agribusiness owners have received the same training and qualifications as their counterparts in the US and Canada, including in disciplines such as bio process engineering. He added that export markets were within reach for such businesses if equity funding is used to obtain the necessary technology and corporate structures that will attract external investors
To educate both business owners and investors about the ArawakX junior market, Mr Rahming Jnr said he had launched the cable TV show, The New Economy, plus a free learning platform at invest242.com. The TV show is aired on Cable 212 between 9pm to 9:30pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. The investors platform explains how to evaluate an investment.
"We intend to run a dynamic market, with hundreds of companies from across many sectors of business. We have successfully targeted companies looking for equity financing between $100,000 to $3m," said Mr Rahming. "As a junior exchange we intend to address problems head on such as market size, liquidity and investor education.
"For example, we realise that we have to make an investment in education as this is a frontier market. So, for the past year we have been educating the marketplace while putting in place the technology necessary for financial inclusion. We are pleased with our initial responses, as hundreds of investors have already signed up for the course. Thousands watch the TV show and several businesses have been responsive to coming on board."