Merrill Lynch has re-entered the Taiwan warrants market on the back of regulatory easing. The firm is the first foreign house to make this move since domestic regulators decreed foreign issuers could not trade in stocks that they issued warrants on, aside from hedging the position. "The regulations have become more flexible," said James Rodríguez de Castro managing director in global equity markets at Merrill in Hong Kong, "I expect us to become an active issuer again."
Foreign participation was effectively killed off a few years back after the regulatory change. With proprietary trading and hedging over-the-counter market access and option positions for international clients proving more lucrative, houses steered away from issuing warrants. Now the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp. has eased listing requirements to entice foreign issuance as other warrants markets in the region including Hong Kong, Singapore and most recently Korea have been taking flight.