More products coming as stock markets integrate

REGIONAL SECURITIES experts foresee product diversification and more firms coming up for listing as soon as stock markets are electronically linked.

REGIONAL SECURITIES experts foresee product diversification and more firms coming up for listing as soon as stock markets are electronically linked.

Celestin Rwabukumba, the chief executive officer of Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) said that the RSE is in the final stages of automating its trading infrastructure which will be electronically linked to the Central Securities Depository and Real Time Gross Settlement System at the National Bank of Rwanda.

He said that once RSE’s trading infrastructure is automated and other East African Community member states have done the same, investors will be able to buy and sell shares from any of the exchanges within the region. They will also enjoy faster payment and settlement process, thus allowing room for creation of new products and trade diversity.

In January this year, the regional central depository systems were linked, reducing the time for the electronic conversion of physical paper certificates of shares or other debt and derivatives representing ownership of securities to less than two hours compared to the over three months it used to take before.

Kenyan retailer, Uchumi Supermarkets and Uganda’s electricity distributer Umeme Limited have been able to take advantage of this to facilitate cross-listing of their shares in Rwanda and Kenya respectively.

“Investors are now able to move their securities across the region and reduce the exchange rate risk and price movement arbitrage,” he explained.

He added that they were working to have Nation Media Group and Kenya Commercial Bank shares transferred to the Rwandan central depository as well.

Innocent Dankaine, acting chief executive of Uganda Securities Exchange said they expected to roll out an automated trading system for all securities in the final quarter of this year.

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