Diehard fans of the privatisation of state-owned companies often argue that the potential for innovation that the process can kick-start is on its own a compelling reason for the state to exit corporate investments.
Although most privatisations in the past 30-plus years have been undertaken to raise finance rather than in pursuit of an economo-political ideology, some enthusiasts go so far as to argue that even giving companies away can deliver future returns to a country’s treasury in ways that might be unimaginable at the onset. In such a context, following the lead of Tim Berners-Lee who effectively gave away the worldwide web for the greater social and economic good, making the likes of Ordnance Survey data literally freely available to anyone who wants to use it could generate money-making activity that no government apparatchik would ever dream of. The case remains to be proven, but we shall see, and long-term experience of the improvement in many goods and services long provided by the UK state but now in the private sectors suggests the forecasters might be right.
Those who knew only the days when the UK’s General Post Office offered any choice of telephone so long as it was black, green or ivory and the future customer was prepared to wait for 12 to 18 months for installation would be astonished at the transformation that has taken place since it was carved out of the GPO and later renamed British Telecom (and then BT). A business that once used a television advertising campaign to boost the use of its domestic network has transformed beyond all recognition.
One of the most startling aspects of the business today (ignoring for a moment its plans to dominate UK television coverafe of European football’s so-called Champions’ League is that part of the behemoth, BT Radianz Cloud, now offers international access to the equities and derivatives markets of the Japan Exchange Group (JPX), Asia’s biggest financial trading group. We are a long way from shared party lines, Buzby and Maureen Lipman’s hugely irritating Beattie character (BT, Beattie, geddit?) and her ologies.
BT today announced that it is making it easy for investors globally to trade on the equities and derivatives markets of the Japan Exchange Group (JPX), Asia’s largest exchange group and the third-largest in the world. Following an agreement between the two firms, members of the BT Radianz Cloud — the world’s largest networked financial community — can now access a range of brokers and the market data needed to trade on JPX’s growing markets via their secure, cost-effective and reliable BT Radianz Cloud connection.
JPX thus joins a growing number of Asian exchange groups on the BT Radianz Cloud including the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Bursa Malaysia and the Singapore Exchange (SGX).
The Radianz Cloud, which this month celebrates its 15th anniversary, links thousands of brokers, institutions, exchanges and clearing and settlement houses across the globe. Through a single network connection, members can securely access thousands of applications and services critical to the everyday functioning of the global financial sector.
Mitsuo Miwa, director of market business development at JPX, said: “Global investors have high hopes for the Japanese economy and for us, this creates an opportunity for growth. JPX’s ambition is to become the most preferred exchange in Asia and one of the most competitive in the world. We’ve chosen to work with BT because of its proven experience and creative use of technology. We’ve been impressed by its track record in helping exchanges extend their global reach and we look forward to leveraging this to deliver growth.”
Tom Regent, president, global banking & financial markets, BT Global Services, said: “Asia Pacific is a key part of our Radianz Cloud community and we already have more than 3000 members in the region.
“With JPX now on board, we have the infrastructure in place to help grow trading activity and investment into and out of Japan. This will make it easier for our community to do business in a way that can lead to a more vibrant market, boosting Japan’s standing as a global financial hub.”