Regulators and exchanges environment
Canada is recognized for having an effective regulatory system that protects consumers and minimizes risk to the financial centre. This system is considered one of the most important competitive factors for a financial centre.
Calgary is the headquarters for the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), the regulatory association responsible for administrating Alberta’s securities laws. According to its website, the ASC "is entrusted to foster a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and to protect investors. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets."
Learn more about the Alberta Securities Commission.
Regulatory systems are just one aspect of the overall business environment. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit's Business Environment Ranking, the other aspects needed for a strong business environment include: political and institutional environment; macroeconomic stability; market opportunities; policy towards private enterprise; policy towards foreign investment; foreign trade and exchange regime; tax system; financing the labour market; and, infrastructure. In the period 2009-2013, Canada is ranked third, ahead of other countries such as Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong and Sweden.
According to a 2008 overview of Alberta’s capital market from the Alberta Securities Commission, Alberta’s capital market is second only to Ontario’s in terms of aggregate public company market capital, and almost 2.5 times greater than that of Quebec, which is the next most significant jurisdiction. Alberta also has the third largest number of publicly listed companies after Ontario and British Columbia.
In Alberta, there are two key exchanges and one capital program available:
TSX Venture Exchange
Calgary has the advantage of being the headquarters for the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV), which provides access to capital for companies at the early stages of their growth, while offering investors a well-regulated market for making venture investments. The TSXV is focused more at junior companies, who may be too small to list on larger exchanges such as the Toronto Stock Exchange.
With the head office in Calgary, the TSXV also has a presence in other cities across Canada. These listed companies are active primarily in the mining, oil and gas, manufacturing, technology and financial services sectors. The TSXV offers an alternative form of capital to private funds and plays a major role in the success of small Canadian companies.
Learn more about the TSX Venture Exchange
Natural Gas Exchange (NGX)
Also located in Calgary is the Natural Gas Exchange (NGX). Launched in 1994, the Natural Gas Exchange leads Canada in natural gas and electricity trading, and is also recognized as North America’s leading physical clearing and settlement facility. The NGX has enabled almost $300 billion of physical gas transactions since its inception, and in 2006 more than 8.1 trillion cubic feet of gas was traded on the NGX.
Like the TSX Venture Exchange, the Natural Gas Exchange is also owned by the TMX Group, who own and operate the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Learn more about the Natural Gas Exchange.
Learn more about the TMX Group.