Australian PM pushes retail BookBuild app

Australian PM pushes retail BookBuild app

A new mobile app which gives retail investors free access to IPOs and private placements on the Australian Stock Exchange has been launched by local startup OnMarket BookBuilds, under the watchful eye of the country's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who conducted the first transaction using the system.

The company says the OnMarket mobile app and website gives all eligible investors, whether or not they have a broker, access to the same capital raising opportunities and on the same terms as institutional investors. The app provides free third-party research on each offer, and guarantees fair allocations.

At a press conference in Sydney to launch the product, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull entered the first bid on the app, buying $2000 worth of shares in Bitcoin Group’s upcoming initial public offering.

“The brilliance of this application is simply that it makes it easier to buy, to trade," said Turnbull. “It will open up the investment market considerably.”

The new tool derives from the company’s first product, OnMarket BookBuilds, which was licensed to the ASX and has been used used by companies and lead managers for more than $180m of capital raisings over 12 transactions since launch in October 2013.

OnMarket founder Ben Bucknell says the new retail version will democratise access to capital raising.

“In the last year, only 16% of IPOs were allocated to retail investors and in the last five years, retail investors were excluded from $66 billion in placements and $20 billion in IPOs greater than $400 million," he says. "This means that most of the Australian population is missing out on the opportunity to invest in most IPOs and placements. Technology-based solutions such as OnMarket allows them to participate.”

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