TMX sets up shop in China

The company that owns the Toronto Stock Exchange has opened an office in Beijing to help it convince more Chinese companies to list on Canada's largest stock exchange.
TMX CEO Tom Kloet said the company's new Chinese office is key to the company's international strategy. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

The company that owns the Toronto Stock Exchange has opened an office in Beijing to help it convince more Chinese companies to list on Canada's largest stock exchange.

"We're pleased to continue [our] global expansion by opening an office in this important region," TMX Corp. president Tom Kloet said as the Beijing office was formally opened on Monday. "Opening an office in Beijing underscores our commitment to ensuring that the benefits of the Canadian capital markets are well understood around the world."

More than half of the world's publicly traded mining companies are listed in Toronto, as are more than a third of the world's public oil and gas names. China's booming economy has an insatiable appetite for resources at the moment, so just as Chinese firms are investing heavily in Canadian companies, the stock exchange is hoping more and more Chinese resource companies will want access to Canada's resource-savvy capital markets by listing on the TSX.

International growth

Earlier this year, TMX Corp. opened an office in London, England. That move was part of the company's overall objective of furthering its international profile and presence. Access to new European markets and investors was a centrepiece of the proposed merger of TMX Corp and the London Stock Exchange before that deal fell apart.

But setting up shop in China is the TMX's attempt to link up with an economy that's growing a lot faster than the traditional markets in Europe. TMX said in a release that the company's efforts in China will focus primarily on advancing Canada's capital markets and TMX's stock exchanges.  The office will also provide the ability to offer enhanced services to new and existing clients in China.

In recent months, Chinese companies have come under increased scrutiny for their accounting practices after several accounting irregularities came to light.

Sino-Forest was once the most valuable forestry firm on the TSX until a report from short seller Muddy Waters alleged the company had misstated its assets. The company is currently under investigation by the OSC and trading in the shares is frozen.

There are already several dozen China-based companies that list on the TSX, but TMX Corp. is eager to see that figure climb even higher.

"The opening of the TSX office in Beijing demonstrates the opportunities that Canadian businesses see to further their relationship with the People's Republic of China," said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who was on hand for the opening. "It creates an important bridge between our respective capital markets and brings our market participants closer together."