Multi-Asset exchange for Africa?

An exchange that will be able to trade a basket of commodity and currencies derivatives for trading on its platform and could later add trading in debt and equity products is to start trading in Mauritius in March, according to an interview on Reuters.
The Global Board Of Trade Ltd. exchange (www.gbot.mu) was due to open this month, but is still waiting to build critical mass of brokers, aiming for 25-30.
In an interview, Joseph Bosco, the COO of GBOT, told Reuters that the regulators in Mauritius are processing four broker licences and anticipate another 12 in the pipeline. Trading is electronic and members can be anywhere in the globe, according to the website.
The main promoter is Financial Technologies (www.ftindia.com) company from India, listed on the National and Bombay Stock Exchanges.
Bosco says the market will help African firms and companies investing across Africa to hedge their risks in a continent which has experienced volatility. He says it will be a “multi-asset exchange that will be a gateway for Africa to the rest of the world”> According to the GBOT website, it is “strategically located at the crossroads of Africa and Asia” and “offers an ideal platform for global investors to access many of the world’s fastest growing economies… GBOT endeavours to introduce modern market mechanisms into Africa’s financial market ecosystem and to serve as a platform of choice for the global investing community.”
GBOT is licensed by the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the Regulator for non-bank financial services sector in Mauritius, for derivatives trading in commodities and currencies.
Bosco reportedly told Reuters that they intended to start with six dollar-based currency pairs – including Mauritius rupee, euro, yen and sterling – and are now adding the Kenyan and Ugandan shillings. The report says the exchange will trade in 14 commodities, including precious metals, base metals and agricultural commodities.
It expects to trade futures contracts in zinc, copper, aluminium, nickel, gold, silver, platinum, coffee, sugar and maize as well as crude oil and carbon credits. It looks to add options contracts in future.
Kenya was an example of price volatility in its currency and stock prices, including after disputed elections in 2007. Bosco said: “We are giving them risk containment mechanisms; we are helping them to hedge themselves against uncertainty or unforeseen circumstances”.

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