Buenos Aires: Building a domestic investor base for economic growth

By: The WFE Focus Team Sep 2020

The Buenos Aires Stock Exchange (The BCBA) boasts a long-standing tradition regarding investor and issuer literacy and education, aiming to furnish them with all the necessary skills and knowledge, as well as timely and accurate information, to allow informed and effective decisions regarding their financial resources. The underlying conviction has always been that such an approach is not only beneficial to individuals and companies, but to the economic health of Argentina at large.

Therefore, throughout its 166 years of operation, the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange has placed special attention on educating the general public, raising awareness on the importance of creating a wide domestic investor base for the country’s economic growth. Explanatory bibliography and analysis have been promoted, ranging from basic flyers to radio and television broadcasting — examples of current counterparts being websites and videos — academic papers and books, and teaching programmes for all levels of education.

Taking advantage of its magnificent premises, the BCBA arranges guided tours for high school and university students (currently halted due to force majeure). The tour includes an outlook of trading, financial instruments and further elements of capital markets activity in Buenos Aires. This endeavour is of the utmost importance, as these tours reach around 10,000 students a year.

In addition, issuers have also received permanent training on better and updated practices and listing requirements, compliance and disclosure issues. The BCBA’s staff includes highly-skilled experts who provide information and counselling to companies and especially small- and medium-sized firms (SMEs), which are eager to know how to make the best use of the financial instruments available.

The educational unit with the widest scope of reach is the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange Foundation, by means of its Virtual Campus reaching out to students all throughout the Argentine territory.

The Foundation is especially oriented to carry out, promote and facilitate studies and research on economics, finance, sociology, law and all other related subjects aiming to improve the socioeconomic system, based on the principles of freedom endorsed by the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange. The purpose of such work becomes beneficial to the community and the education of youth people in particular, as it provides them with the necessary tools to perform the above-mentioned disciplines.

Foundation programmes

Since 1961, the Foundation has arranged training programmes on capital markets and stock market trading issues, ranging from introductory free-of-charge courses for the general public, to seminars of intermediate and advanced levels that delve into more specific subjects.

The Foundation also carries out seminars, conferences and other activities of general interest on current issues, with free admission. Along with other institutions, it organises activities for students, professionals, officials and executive members of government-owned entities and corporations at the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange premises in Buenos Aires, as well as in various cities all over the country.

Amongst other courses, the Foundation, along with the Corporate and Governmental Governance Institute (IGEP, in its Spanish acronym) holds the Listed Company Corporate Director Programme, which includes the basic knowledge on corporate governance currently required by Argentine capital market rules to perform the duties of a listed company director, whether independent or appointed by controlling shareholders. The Professional Corporate Director Programme educates participants using a wide multi-disciplinary approach including all the essential background needed to join a board and perform a director’s duties in a professional way.

The Foundation participates of Global Money Week, carries out research and edits papers on current issues, and since 1962, has granted acknowledgement awards to the best performing high-school graduates of economics and administration. The Foundation is currently exploring courses on new subjects such as fintech and quantitative finance; and this particular year has reached over 40,000 investors who have attended the Investors’ Basic Programme through the Foundation’s YouTube channel.

The Library

The Buenos Aires Stock Exchange has a specialised library with over 20,000 volumes on stock exchanges and securities markets, commercial law, corporations, banks and currency. It provides sources of research to academics and students of law and economics, historians, scholars, researchers and other professionals in pursuit of stock market information. The library’s vast newspaper collection includes the main dailies as well as technical publications and magazines.

It is currently in the early stages of upgrading its database for a better management of its 28,000 entries. This new project will leverage the BCBA Library’s bibliographic fund to benefit the Economic and Social Information Network of Networks (UNIRED, in its Spanish acronym). The BCBA Library is a member of UNIRED and thus provides access  to 1.3 million bibliographic entries of libraries across the whole country.

Last but not least, the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange fosters and holds a wide range of activities related to promoting financial inclusion and capital market promotion, which include the edition of a series of educational illustrated books on the history and cultural heritage of capital markets in Argentina.