New securities exchange prepares in Namibia

“Transformation is central to NamFin-X’s philosophy, and the exchange will benefit Namibia and Namibians in a plethora of ways, at both the micro and macro economic level,” said former Namibian Minister of Finance Helmut Angula. He is heading plans to establish a second securities exchange, the Namibia Financial Exchange (NamFin-X).
According to a report in local newspaper New Era, the current Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila gave the exchange a licence in September 2012, as an association of 10 persons. According to the report, the shareholders of NamFin-X are 5 Namibian corporate entities, 4 individuals and 1 international corporate investor. Namibians own the majority, in line with the government’s policy of indigenous ownership of financial institutions.
It is envisaged the broader Namibian public will be able to own shares in the exchange.
Namibia’s existing Namibian Stock Exchange has been running since 1992 and has a good record for administration. It has very high market capitalization due to dual-listings but has also helped many local companies raise capital through listings. The editor of African Capital Markets News was GM of the NSX from 1995-2000 (see “About Us” page).
Since the approval, there has been a review of the application. In May 2013, a notice was published in the Government Gazette that NamFin-X’s application and rules for the stock exchange were open for inspection. The regulator called for comments from the public through advertisements in 2 local daily newspapers over 3 weeks. This closed at the end of June 2013.
The article reports that the promoters have solicited the experienced management, rules and listing requirements, and IT from a reputable source and investment partner. No more details were given but it quotes Angula as saying: “NamFin-X will provide Namibia with world-class financial services and regulators, and membership of the World Federation of Exchanges which will provide a footprint on the world stage and will lead to a more competitive, more liquid financial sector.”

Widen participation
“NamFin-X will widen the economic participation in the market, empower issuers and investors to realise their economic freedom and more importantly, fill a much needed funding gap allowing many new ventures and SME businesses to realise their economic potential.
“NamFin-X will not only provide sources of finance for these businesses but also access to the expertise and experience of investment companies, the investment community and a nominated advisor. This will occur within a regulated framework.
“The general public as well as companies looking to raise capital will benefit from the proposed new exchange because of the competition and increased liquidity that an alternative bourse will provide. The initiative is aligned with, and supports Namibian government policy, including investment in job creation, investment in financial services education, new enterprises and socio-economic transformation.
“NamFin-X is a truly Namibian endeavour, and fundamentally Namibian in its philosophy.”
Angula pointed out that 60% of the new exchange’s developmental goals are closely integrated and cognisant of Namibia’s Vision 2030 and the National Development Plans. It also refers to Namibia’s Financial Sector Strategy (NFSS), which seeks to “guide the achievement of the financial sector objectives as set out in the various national development plans (NDPs and Vision 2030)” and to ultimately “contribute to fostering economic growth and poverty alleviation as well as reducing income inequality.”

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