PNGX Markets and XBourse Australia sign MOU for use of blockchain technology to accelerate Pacific Islands’ capital markets

by PNG Business News - June 22, 2022

Photo credit: PNGX

PNGX Markets - Papua New Guinea’s national stock exchange, XBourse Australia - a leading technology services company specialising in building innovative bespoke solutions for financial markets, and Pacific Capital Markets Development - an Australian company committed to the development of capital markets in the Pacific region, have recently signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the development of worldleading digital solutions for Pacific Islands’ capital markets, starting in Papua New Guinea.

The objectives of the cooperative arrangements are to enhance capital market efficiency, promote market liquidity, attract investment and reduce market risk in the Pacific Islands region.

Under the memorandum, PNGX, XBourse and PCMD will work together to explore the phased development of state-of-the-art digital market infrastructure and services: 

  • Multi-currency post-trade settlement and registration solutions for public and private markets; including equities, bonds and climate instruments. 
  • central securities depositories and registries; 
  • custodial services for international investors; 
  • integrated commercial and regulatory solutions for SMEs; and 
  • superannuation registry solutions.

“We are very excited to be working with XBourse” said PNGX Chairman and PCMD Director, Mr David Lawrence. “XBourse’s digital ledger technology (also known as blockchain) and smart contracts have the potential to turbo-charge the public and private capital markets in the Pacific region. The concepts currently being developed would be world-leading, presenting real opportunities for Papua New Guinea.

“We have a vision to provide an integrated solution for Pacific companies of all sizes offering faster access to debt and equity capital, instantaneous and risk-free settlement of trades, a central securities depository to make trading easier for all market users, a custodial platform to meet the needs of international investors, and the potential for expansion into other services, such as superannuation technology services” Mr Lawrence said.

“XBourse is a market leader in the financial technology sector and has been working in recent years with globally recognised technology partners to develop a range of integrated and innovative market platforms and digital solutions that can be readily deployed into all types of markets, covering both existing and new assets, such as climate, that are rapidly being digitised. These platforms deliver greater functionality, efficiency and a new way of doing business in the 21st century at a lower cost than existing incumbent legacy systems and processes.

“Importantly they offer opportunities for new asset classes in the digital age. Some of the opportunities include issuance and registration of assets, trading, digital registries and other back-office systems with immutable records of ownership, transactions and provenance that provide much-needed integrity and security to support the market and regulatory confidence.

“XBourse is excited to be working with PNGX and Pacific Markets Capital Development to identify ways XBourse’s technology solutions can be implemented in the PNG market. Our experience has shown that better market infrastructure is vital to promote efficient use and allocation of capital and to attract the interest of investors large and small,” said XBourse CEO and Founder, Mr Tony Mackay.

“Digitisation and blockchain provide the opportunity for markets of all types and sizes to better and more efficiently access capital. Just as importantly, the new market infrastructure can reduce operational and regulatory risk for all participants and operators.

“XBourse is also working on early-stage projects to tokenise carbon abatement and carbon credits, and we see enormous potential in the Pacific for these instruments where digitisation and blockchain technology can validate, regulate and tokenise these instruments and initiatives and make markets in them,” Tony Mackay said.

“The input of key stakeholders in the market, such as listed companies, banks, superannuation funds and stockbrokers, is critical to the success of this project and ultimately of the PNG market” said PNGX General Manager, Ms Elizabeth Wamsa. “We will shortly be conducting industry forums to discuss user and regulator needs to enable the development of an optimal solution” she said.

 

Article courtesy of PNGX



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Commentary by Stephen Howes, Kingtau Mambon and Kelly Samof The urban minimum wage has been an important part of Papua New Guinea’s economic history. In the last few years before independence (in 1975), it was greatly increased. In the decade or so after independence, it was widely regarded as too high. In 1992, it was slashed, merged with the rural minimum, and hardly increased again for more than a decade. We can compare the minimum wage in PNG today with other Asia and Pacific developing countries using International Labour Organization (ILO) data. As Figure 1 shows, PNG’s minimum wage is 18% below the average of the 19 countries shown if the market exchange rate is used to compare minimum wages. It is 37% below the average if differences in cost of living are also taken into account (with conversions made on the basis not of market exchange rates but so-called purchasing power parities or PPPs). The greater difference in terms of PPPs reflects PNG’s relatively high cost of living. 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For example, in tuna processing, one of PNG’s main competitors is the Philippines. From Figure 1, we can see that PNG’s minimum wage is lower than the Philippines' on the basis of PPPs, but actually higher on the basis of market exchange rates. While the former is what matters for the welfare of workers, the latter is what matters for international competitiveness. Whether PNG’s minimum wage should be increased will require a lot more analysis. The point of this blog is simply that PNG’s minimum wage does not look high any more by international comparisons, as it has fallen a lot since independence. PNG is often described as a high-cost economy, and this is a fair description. 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For the Goodman, et al., data go to Table 3.6 on p.61 in their report.\ Disclosure: This research was undertaken with the support of the ANU-UPNG Partnership, an initiative of the PNG-Australia Partnership, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The views are those of the authors only. This article appeared first on Devpolicy Blog (devpolicy.org), from the Development Policy Centre at The Australian National University. Stephen Howes is Director of the Development Policy Centre and Professor of Economics at the Crawford School of Public Policy, at The Australian National University. Kingtau Mambon is currently undertaking a Master of International and Development Economics at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, for which he was awarded a scholarship through the ANU-UPNG Partnership. Kelly Samof is a lecturer in economics at the School of Business and Public Policy, University of Papua New Guinea.

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