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Artex to IPO first artwork in London this month


Online art stock exchange Artex has said it will launch its first ART Initial Public Offering (IPO) on Tuesday 30 May in one of London’s most prestigious museums. The soon-to-be-listed masterpiece will be the first of many future ART IPOs; ARTEX said aims to list more than EUR 1bn worth of artworks over the coming months.

The event will mark a significant milestone for Artex, which is dedicated to democratising investment opportunities in the most iconic artworks by the world’s greatest artists from the Renaissance all the way through to the Contemporary period.

The Artex MTF operates a secure and liquid art shares exchange which is regulated and supervised by the Financial Markets Authority of Liechtenstein within the European MiFID II legislative framework. By providing easy access to the traditionally exclusive fine art market, Artex aims to democratise investing in artworks by the world’s greatest artists from the Renaissance all the way through to the Contemporary period.

Each artwork on the exchange is incorporated as a separate company which will issue shares. These holds out the potential for owners of landmark art pieces to IPO their art on the exchange and for thousands of investors to participate in art via a fractionalised ownership model.

Artex-listed masterpieces will be publicly displayed in museums and exhibitions around the world. Artex was co-founded in 2020 by art enthusiasts and financial markets experts H.S.H. Prince Wenceslas of Liechtenstein and Yassir Benjelloun-Touimi.

The ART IPO of each masterpiece will be similar to a traditional IPO, where shares of a private company are issued to the public for the first time. An ART IPO involves dividing the ownership of a single artwork into smaller units, in this case, traditional shares worth EUR 100 each. These shares can then be bought, sold, or traded on a secondary market on the Artex exchange (a traditional stock exchange) and through its members and participants – regulated banks and brokers.

Artex said that shares in the art would be offered streaming liquidity via established market makers and the market would be accessible via traditional order management systems like Bloomberg and NYFix. The quality, provenance and authenticity of each artwork is diligently checked by Artex using world-renowned experts in their fields. Prospectuses will follow MiFID II rules and will be created for each work of art.

The exchange is also supported by a matching engine which can handle up to 8m transactions per second, so can be scaled up swiftly.

Art has demonstrated its credentials as a store of value over the last 500 years and in the last 30 years has shown itself to be uncorrelated to equity markets. The global art market is currently valued at USD 3.2 trillion but only about 2% of the market trades every year.

Artex co-founder Benjelloun-Touimi reckons the securitisation of art could be the shot in the arm the art market requires, and points to how the creation of the real estate investment trust created a huge traded market for property. “We want to move away from art as a trophy held by the elite, kept out of the hands of the public, to a regulated world, accessible and safe,” he said. “This will help more and more people to adopt art as a safe asset class. We are making it easy for the banking system to help us and be our partners.”

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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