Feb. 20, 2022


María Ariza

Mexico

María Ariza

CEO, BIVA

BIVA has consolidated its position as the most technological, fast, and reliable stock exchange in Mexico.

BIO

María Ariza has a master's degree in administration from Harvard University, where she was nominated for the Dean's List of Academic Achievement Award. She is an industrial engineer with academic excellence from Ibero-American University. Prior to taking up her current position at the stock market, she developed practically her entire professional life in the private equity sector, holding positions as general director of the Mexican Association of Private Capital (AMEXCAP), partner of Ictus Capital, and an associate in NAFTA Fund. Previously, María served as director of the project office in Grupo Impulso and manager of strategic planning in the APEC Organizing Committee. In addition, she is an independent member and partner of various boards of directors. Her career has been recognized with an award from the Women Economic Forum, the International Entrepreneurs Council, and in publications such as Expansión, Forbes, Líderes, and Revista 2020, among others.


What have been BIVA's greatest achievements in Mexico throughout 2021?

In 2021, BIVA consolidated itself as the most technological, fast, and reliable stock exchange in Mexico, guaranteeing 100% continuous availability of trading during the Mexican market operation hours. One of our greatest achievements in 2021 was launching BIVA Cloud. By doing so, we became the only stock exchange in Mexico that distributes financial and stock information, by using the best data technologies on the cloud, making it always available worldwide. Additionally, we gave investors in the US access to our data infrastructure, exactly as if it were local, through a strategic alliance with Options Technology, the leading provider of business infrastructure management and connectivity to global capital markets. These are firm steps that BIVA is taking toward its internationalization. Furthermore, we financed more than USD3.4 billion in long-term issuances, welcomed 17 new investment vehicles in different assets, including REITs, CKDs, and CERPIS and announced our second IPO, GlobCash, which will be listed next year. Finally, in accordance with our commitment to sustainability, we continued developing our whole ESG Biva Sustentable Experience, which will be announced January 2022, with a full set of tools, indexes, reporting platforms, and the first educational ESG podcast BIVA ESG Analysis.

In what ways is BIVA continuing to promote financial inclusion and diversity?

First, we needed to be a more inclusive stock exchange in terms of the participants; companies, investors, regions, industries. We broke the myth that you must be a large, consolidated, and profitable company to be listed on the stock market. BIVA's business model has focused on proactively reaching out to SMEs with high growth potential that need financing. We focus more on strengthening companies' corporate governance, so that they can attract investors, rather than just focus on their size. Second, we've been actively dedicated to financial education, informing and raising awareness about the importance of financial inclusion and early adaption in a variety of economic, financial, and business forums. We are currently working with more than 120 universities around the country through the Instituto BIVA. Third, we have been focusing heavily on attracting more retail investors to the stock market in synergy with the brokerage houses. Since BIVA's arrival, the market has grown eight-fold the number of brokerage accounts than the number seen for 25 years. Furthermore, inclusion has been also the result of our commitment to ESG and financing causes through public vehicles. We have been able to cover more than 5,000 women leading projects through gender bonds for example, or post-COVID-19 economic reactivation projects, environmental projects and others through green, forest and social bonds. On the diversity side, we promoted our initiative Pact for Salary Equality, in which we encouraged institutional investors to promote equality, inclusion in the labor force, elimination of barriers to get senior management promotions, and equal pay. It was important to involve these decision makers who greatly influence the investment ecosystem in Mexico, to carry out initiatives top down and to implement changes faster. Additionally, we are compiling detailed information from issuers regarding gender initiatives.

When it comes to ESG, how much appetite have you seen in Mexico green bonds and sustainability in the public market?

Nowadays, we see an increasing ESG appetite driven by the investing mindset shift of consumers and investors. In Mexico, there has been a remarkable increase in thematic bonds since 2018. More than USD4.7 billion in thematic bonds have been issued on the Mexican stock exchanges. So far in 2021, 23 thematic issues have been placed for an amount of USD2.4 billion, compared to the eight issuances in 2020. In terms of appetite, we have seen oversubscription of between 1.5 and five times the total amount placed; achieving greater participation of investors in this type of emissions as opposed to traditional bonds. Above all, we have seen a greater demand from international investors, which increases the entry of foreign capital to our market.

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