Bermuda Stock Exchange

Attempting to capitalize on its standing as a major tax haven and center for offshore corporations, Bermuda is laying plans for an international stock exchange to be epen 24 hours a day.

Bermuda's current bourse lists a handful of local companies, but Cummings Zuill, a bank executive and chairman of the Bermuda International Business Assn., says the new exchange might initially seek to attract some of the several hundred Hong Kong companies--including giant Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd.--that have switched their legal domicile to Bermuda in anticipation of Beijing's 1997 takeover of the colony. Reflecting Bermuda's longtime preference for industry self-regulation over government control, Zuill says the exchange would "take the best" securities rules while "leaving off the worst controls and practices" that sometimes hamper trading on other markets. The exchange could begin trading as early as 1995.

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