Integrate regional exchanges to deepen cross-border trade - expert

East African exchanges should fast-track integration initiatives like the capital markets infrastructure (CMI) project, and create a pool of skilled personnel.

East African exchanges should fast-track integration initiatives like the capital markets infrastructure (CMI) project, and create a pool of skilled personnel. 

This is essential to position the regional stock market as a platform of choice for raising long-term funding for governments and business community, Celestin Rwabukumba, the East African Securities Exchange Association (EASEA) chairman, has said. Speaking at the 27th consultative meeting in Dar es Salaam recently, Rwabukumba said the CMI project that is nearing completion presents new possibilities for investors seeking cross-border trade opportunities. 

With capital markets across the world becoming increasingly automated and integrated, regional stock exchanges require a modern system that meets different market needs. This will also make it possible for EAC capital markets to attract global capital flows and participate in international capital markets. 

Meanwhile, EASEA has agreed to increase product offerings at each stock market, train market intermediaries, carry out public awareness drives and support integration of market infrastructure as they plan to draft a five-year strategic plan. According to a statement from the EASEA secretariat, these initiatives are aimed at increasing market liquidity and depth. 

Rwabukumba, who is also the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) chief executive, has commended the Securities Industry Training Institute – East Africa, noting that the institute will help market players improve skills and technical capacity to meet global standards. 

“The institute is at the forefront of driving capital market training to meet the growing demand for relevant expertise in the market,” he added during the summit attended by stock market chiefs from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. 

He revealed that RSE is in final stages of automation of its trading infrastructure that will be linked to the central securities depository and real time cross settlement system at the National Bank of Rwanda.

Speaking at the event, the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange chief executive officer, Moremi Marwa, said the exchange self-listed successfully through an initial public offer last month. It also became an affiliate member of the World Federation of Exchanges, and joined the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. 

“These strategic partnerships will expose DSE to peer-to-peer learning platform for exploring how exchanges can enhance corporate transparency, efficiency and performance,” Marwa said. Marwa said the exchange also conducted public education campaigns and introduced mobile phone payments in IPO and secondary market trading. The Nairobi Securities Exchange and Officials from the Uganda Securities Exchange said they would soon start trading government bonds at the exchange.

 

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