TSX Venture Exchange country-wide tour hits the capital

The TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) stopped in Ottawa this week on its country-wide tour aimed at improving the listing and diversifying it with more tech companies.

By Stephen Karmazyn

“They’ve come to realize that the market is not doing great and they’re trying to figure out ways to revitalize the venture market in particular. And to encourage more companies from diverse industry sectors to list on the venture exchange,” said Lorraine Mastersmith, a partner at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP.

Ms. Mastersmith said that there wasn’t much concern at the event over the flagging loonie or the perceived lack of big IPOs this year, and that Ottawa is “on the radar screen” of the TSXV because of the city’s strong tech sector.

“The venture exchange is a wonderful training ground for companies that want to graduate beyond the TSX,” she said. “They’re looking to reduce barriers to US investors wanting to participate in the Canadian market.”

The TSXV has three main areas it is addressing on this cross-Canada tour: reducing clients' administrative and compliance costs, expanding the base of investors financing companies, and diversifying the stock list.

This comes as it tries to shed its reputation of being a resource-based company listing. Resource companies have also made a lot of plays to diversify in recent months, Ms. Mastersmith said.

As for Ottawa, the talk was mostly about tech.

“There’s been talk about the big IPOs here and the technology focus here in Ottawa,” Ms. Mastersmith said. “They’re high on our technology sector. They would like to see more of our tech companies listed on the venture exchange because that will achieve their goal of diversifying the exchange.

“They’re trying to do a better job of marketing to that industry because they don’t like the reputation that the venture exchange is for resource companies. Ottawa would have a big play in that.”