President, African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA), Oscar Onyema, said exchanges across Africa have collectively traded over $325 billion in equities market in 2015.
Oscar further disclosed that African exchanges have traded $1.2 trillion in bonds, and $438.0 billion in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) & Others, representing a market capitalization of over $1.3 trillion.
The President of ASES while presenting a speech at the 19th African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) Conference 2015 in South Africa on Monday, said African exchanges are becoming active players in the global exchange business.
This year conference, themed “Africa Evermore”, is an opportune time for African exchanges to engage with one another in open and constructive dialogue about current operating environment, and how to close the gaps to attain the full promise of Africa’s economic potential.
According to him, “This growth is expected to be supported by moderate global recovery, and growth in low-income developing countries which compared to this year are projected to grow by one more percentage point to 5.8 per cent in 2016.
“Africa’s positive outlook is just one of the many opportunities that if well harnessed could seriously position the continent for greater heights.
Oscar reiterated that the role of the capital market remains critical in sustaining economy growth and sustain the positive of African exchanges.
He said, “I believe that it is time to ask the tough question of how we can sustain the positive growth trajectories of our performances as African exchanges, given the globalization of the securities business.
“It is my strong belief that one of the things that Africa needs to sustain its growth, is a solid capital markets ecosystem that will attract investment and unlock the potential that exists on the continent.
He urged 23 member nations that make up ASEA, about the need to engage with business leaders in order to communicate more clearly the vital role played in facilitating long-term financing, mobilizing resources, and directing the flow of savings and investments efficiently within our economies.
An even more incredible potential, one which I am particularly passionate about is the exponential benefits that accrue from risk-sharing initiatives. Internationally, integrated stock markets improve resource allocation and accelerate growth by facilitating liquidity. Although profitable investments sometimes require long-run commitments to capital, savers prefer not to relinquish control of their savings, and preferably not for long periods of time. This is where liquidity comes in to ease the investor’s tension. It does this by providing investors with assets that are easily liquidated at any time, while simultaneously allowing firms permanent access to capital that is raised through equity issues. In this regard, I believe that there is no better time than now to intensify our efforts in ongoing initiatives that foster the advancement of regional integration and cooperation.
He lamented over weak corporate governance of listed companies that is often found responsible for many of corporate failures in Africa.
On this he said, “As securities exchanges, we operate powerful platforms through which we can influence and promote sustainable business practices. Accordingly, we must increase our contribution and participation in developing our national codes of corporate governance, by setting strong listing and maintenance requirements, and ensuring adequate disclosure of listed companies’ corporate governance arrangements.”
While concluding his speech, Oscar said, “I have no doubt that the programme at this year’s conference will surely drive the level of engagement and idea generation that will solidify and strengthen our association’s strategic resolve.
“But more importantly, I believe that the learnings from our interactions will elevate our business strategies to ride out the headwinds that our markets have experienced this year,” he added