Archive for the 'Strategy' Category
March 30th, 2017 by Tom Minney
Here are some key points from the panel on “Alternative exchanges and connecting the African markets: What do you need to know?” at the World Exchange Congress 2017 in Budapest. All are CEOs: Moderator: Hirander Misra, Chairman and CEO, GMEX Group; Thapelo Tsheole, Botswana Stock Exchange; Moremi Marwa, Dar Es Salaam Stock Exchange; Sunil Benimadhu, Stock Exchange of Mauritius.
Q1: How to develop frontier African stock markets? Benimadhu: “We look at what our niche products are, that we do better than others. We list those products on the exchange. Then we think: ‘How we reach out to the world and tell our story?’ We need to make sure trading on our exchange is easy, efficient and meets international standards. Then we can look beyond our borders and ask what does the region need?”
Q2: Should you offer risk mitigation for currencies? Tanzania, Botswana and Mauritius are all open for investors to take their capital out, Mauritius was one of the first African markets to drop exchange control; it was brave as it’s a small economy, but it found the capital flowing in soon became more than the capital flowing out.
Protecting against changes in value of African currencies such as KES and NGN will be very important for attracting foreign investors, for inter-African trade and for trading in derivatives linked to international currencies. Benimadhu – Mauritius (and other markets) are looking at exchange-traded linked products to mitigate currency risk “there is a strong need to come up with a very sophisticated derivatives platform for mitigating currency risk”.
Q3: Inter-African stock-market links? Marwa: “We are harmonizing our trading rules among the 4 markets in the region – Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda – with the help of the World Bank. We are building an infrastructure based in Tanzania combining our automated trading systems (ATS) and central securities depositories (CSDs). In the Southern African Development Community (SADC) we are also making some progress in harmonizing and integrating our markets.
“Investors would rather see us as one big market, instead of small markets. For any issuer, reaching out the whole region will attract wider interest. In Tanzania we are well placed for this and we encourage harmonization and integration.”
Benimadhu “I have seen examples of larger markets and we should learn from that and use their experience. Take the case of Australia and Singapore, they allowed brokers from Singapore to trade in Australia and vice versa to increase order flow. After 10 years they scrapped it, it did not generate expected volumes. Many of the others have also fallen short of expectations. One which is working is Hong Kong-Shanghai but that is for specific reasons, including access to the Chinese market.
“I am a contrarian. I believe linkages make sense, but before doing that it makes sense to grow the domestic market. Open up, attract foreign flows. Don’t spend a lot of time and energy on linkages, but focus first on growing the domestic market. We should follow regional links, but they should not sidetrack us from where we should concentrate, on our own markets”.
March 1st, 2017 by Tom Minney
Doubt has been cast on the EUR29bn (£24.5bn) merger between London Stock Exchange Group plc and Deutsche Börse AG this week, after the European Commission demanded LSE must sell off its 60% stake in fixed-income trading platform MTS S.p.A. This is a part of LSE’s Italian business and an important clearing house for European government bonds, including Italian government debt.
The LSE says the EC is “unlikely to provide clearance” after it surprised the City and refused to comply with the demand. It said on Sunday that the request was “disproportionate”.
The deal had been announced a year ago as a “merger of equals” to create a mega-exchange capable of taking on the US exchanges. The European Commission could announce its verdict on 4 April.
LSE and Deutsche Börse had previously agreed to sell the French part of LSE’s clearing business, LCH, to satisfy competition concerns. Rival Euronext was the interested bidder. That may not go ahead.
LSE said that selling its stake in MTS would require approval from several European national regulators and hurt its wider Italian business, where MTS is classified as a “systemically important regulated business”. The LSE also owns Borsa Italiana, based in Milan.
In its statement, LSE said: “Taking all relevant factors into account, and acting in the best interests of shareholders, the LSE Board today concluded that it could not commit to the divestment of MTS.”
US exchanges, including Intercontinental Exchange, headquartered in Atlanta, may now start bidding for the LSE Group.
The 2 leading European exchanges had previously tried to merge in 2000 and 2005. In the current deal, Deutsche Börse, which operates Frankfurt Stock Exchange, will have a 54% stake in the enlarged business but the headquarters was forecast to stay in London. There were concerns post UK’s “Brexit” vote to leave the European Union that considerable volumes of clearing, especially securities denominated in euros, would move to Europe.
LSE and Deutsche Börse say the deal is still on, pending the European Commission verdict. Fees so far to City bankers, lawyers and public relations advisers have so far topped £300m, according to calculations on an announcement.
Deutsche Börse also operates the Luxembourg-based clearing house Clearstream and derivatives platform Eurex. It commented: “The parties will await the further assessment by the European commission and currently expect a decision by the European commission on the merger of Deutsche Börse and LSE by the end of March 2017.”
Paternoster Square with London Stock Exchange at right (credit: Wikipedia)
December 13th, 2016 by Tom Minney
The Economist magazine says most African stock exchanges are small and likely to stay that way. It says few smaller, family-owned businesses, are keen to list on African stock exchanges and that liquidity or secondary trading is an “even bigger challenge” with few African exchanges achieving turnover (share value traded) of even 10% of market capitalization (the value of shares listed).
The magazine cites a recent paper by economists from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and City University, London. They investigate 59 nascent stock exchanges around the world. They find that exchanges which start small, with few listings and low turnover, tend to remain so. The best chance for success comes from strong banks and growing savings, meaning that many African exchanges might need to wait until their economies grow.
Source: The Economist with figures from World Federation of Exchanges
Several African exchanges are big enough to move forward, including Johannesburg Stock Exchange with nearly $1 trn in market capitalization, Nigeria Stock Exchange and Kenya’s Nairobi Securities Exchange. The article also points to the successful regionalization project that is the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM), headquartered in Côte d’Ivoire and bringing together 8 national markets to create more investors and more listed stocks.
The article was written after the author attended last month’s 2016 African Securities Exchanges Association conference in Rwanda and watching the brokers in scarlet jackets at the trading board of the Rwanda Stock Exchange in Kigali. It says most African exchanges were created in the 1990s to help with the sale or privatization of state-owned enterprises. Many of these have been turned from loss making drains into high profit giants, driving economies, creating jobs and making investors including local institutions richer.
On the Uganda Securities Exchange, 7 out of 8 domestic listings are from privatizations, and many other exchanges tell the same story. Botswana’s national telco was the BSE’s biggest IPO when it came to market successfully this year. Others are forcing companies to list, for instance telecom companies and mining companies are key targets and listing can be forced through respective licensing of other regulations. Tanzania has reportedly ordered 8 telcos, including 3 offshoots of international companies, to float 28% of shares and MTN is likely to list on the Nigerian bourse in a deal with the telecoms regulator.
Meanwhile private equity continues to flourish in Africa. There could be a positive spin-off in terms of private equity funds using stock exchanges as exits to sell on to new funds and through IPOs. The article does not touch on one of the most interesting trends, the rise of African institutional investors and the effect they could have on capital markets development.
For the original Economist article, read here.
September 2nd, 2016 by Tom Minney
The integrated regional stock exchange for West Africa is working with the miners’ favourite global exchange for raising capital in order to build a platform for listing mining shares. Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres (BRVM), based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, aims to have a dedicated section for mining ready for business by 2018.
BRVM General Manager Edoh Kossi Amenounve told Bloomberg in an interview that the new mining exchange will be open for companies exploring or operating mines in the region. He explained that the BRVM is talking with Canada’s Toronto Stock Exchange (TMX Group) to set up a “technical partnership” between the two bourses and will “take inspiration” from the Canadian mining-exchange model. Discussions may be completed by the end of 2016.
He told Bloomberg: “Mining companies operating in the region only raise funds in foreign currencies.. Some of them have approached us to see how they could raise the resources they need in local currency. Some have even asked us for a dual listing with the Toronto stock exchange, but the regulating framework isn’t compatible at the moment.”
The BRVM links eight West African countries in an innovative exchange, including gold exporters Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), and the world’s fourth-largest uranium producer, Niger. Many want to boost their mining industries: Burkina Faso is developing new gold and manganese mines, while Côte d’Ivoire is diversifying from agriculture, including cocoa, and aims to develop its untapped mining deposits, including gold and iron ore, according to Bloomberg. The BRVM attracts investors partly because the countries are part of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and so use the CFA Franc, which is pegged to the euro.
Amenounve said: “Most of the countries of the region have significant mining deposits… The development of the mining sector has been extremely important in the last few years. We want to support this development.. We need local, African shareholders to invest in the mining sector.”
The bourse currently dominated by banks and telecommunications shares. It is amending its listing regulations to accommodated the new mining platform. Currently listing regulations require two years of certified accounts. The BRVM exchange aims to list mining issuers, including new companies who are raising money for exploration.
Karma heap-leach project in Burkina Faso (photo:True Gold Mining)
July 19th, 2016 by Tom Minney
This article summarizes a talk by Honghee Shin, Executive Director of Korea Exchange, at the World Exchanges Congress in March 2016, which highlighted the KRX experience and lessons to be learned.
Building an exchange environment for small and medium-size enterprises and hi-tech companies to raise capital on a securities exchange requires strategic coordination and support by many different government agencies. The Korean Exchange (KRX) has grown to be the world’s third biggest stock exchange for listing and trading SMEs by creating a virtuous cycle in each stage of growth generates cash-flows which in turn fuel other stages.
The original Korea Stock Exchange was set up in 1956 and KRX evolved in 2005 to offer comprehensive front-to-end services. It has KSD (depository) as a 70% owned-subsidiary and also owns 76% of >koscom, a technology subsidiary. It offers a full range of products, trading and market data, as well as the central counterparty (CCP) and it is a self-regulatory organization performing its own market surveillance.
In 2015, KRX had 1,961 listed companies, 8th highest in the world, and traded $1,929 billion of securities, achieving the 10th highest level globally, according to World Federation of Exchanges. The main board is called KOSPI market and it has a futures and options market that was rated 12th in the world.
It has two boards for SMEs:
• KOSDAQ was launched in 1996, and provides funds for well-established SMEs and “technology-savvy” area including information technology (IT), bio technology (BT) and cultural technology (CT).
• KONEX was launched in 2013 exclusively for SMEs and start-up companies to support their early-stage financing and development through the capital market.
The ratio of market capitalization compared to GDP is higher at KOSDAQ in Korea than any other major SME markets in Asia. In global terms it ranks third among world SME markets for market capitalization and daily trading volume and 4th with 1,061 listed companies. Technology has been the main driver of the market – IT, BT and CT companies made up 68% of the market in 2015, up from 63% in 2005. In particular, biotech has grown its share 4 times and forms 17% of the total market.
KONEX had 24 companies in the third quarter of 2013, but increased that 5 times to 128 listed companies by the end of 2015. Market capitalization is up 8x, and daily average trading value is up 4x over the period. It offers a fast-track “ladder system” which 14 companies have scaled to transfer from KONEX to KOSDAQ.
Much of the success of the exchange can be attributed to the coordinated efforts of Government, the exchange and other stakeholders.
Key supports from Government include:
1. Tax incentives
– Corporate tax exemption for investing in newly-listed shares(within 2 years)
2. De-regulation for M&A
– Between KONEX and unlisted stocks
– Relieving corporate governance structure
– Waiver of obligation on appointment of external director and full-time auditor
3. Eased accounting standard application
– Exemption of K-IFRS accounting standard.
Concessions offered by KRX are:
1. Relaxation of Listing Requirements
– Lightened listing requirements for corporations with 20% of total investment from angel investors and venture capital
2. Modified disclosure obligation
– Reduction of timely-disclosure
– Exemption of quarter and semi-annual reports
– Mitigation of obligation to submit registration of securities
3. Minimum deposit requirement for investors adjusted from $300,000 to $100,000.
The exchange brings together companies from diversified industries, with a convergence of the high-tech companies that are the driving force of the economy. There is a solid investor base, including active retail investors with ample liquidity, and the exchange offers them a new way to find investment opportunities. The KRX itself offers relaxed listing requirements and less disclosure and maintenance costs. Government offers supportive policies towards gradual de-regulation as well as tax incentives and benefits.
The 2 Korean boards, KOSDAQ and KONEX play a critical role in a virtuous circle of growth and investment. Typically venture capital (VC), angel investors and government (through policies as well as funds) invests into start-up companies. These grow to list on KONEX, where professional investors tend to invest in what re now start-up SME companies, and VC investors can take some funds out to re-invest into fresh start-ups. As the company grows further, it can more to KOSDAQ where often non-professional investors may be interested in what have evolved into established SMEs, and the VCs can take more funds to reinvest into the earlier growth stages. The virtuous circle means that each stage adds momentum to the other stages, fuelling further growth – for the diagram see above.
July 13th, 2016 by Tom Minney
Trading has been fast and furious in the shares of Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange PLC, which self-listed at 9am on 12 July. The first day of trading saw the shares listed at TZS 500 each and soaring as high as TZS 1,000 after hitting TZS 800 in the first 20 minutes. They closed at TZS 935. Turnover was 201 deals out of all the 248 deals for the day, according to the DSE daily report and TZS 794.8 million ($363,750) worth of shares were traded (out of TZS 817.9m traded for all counters).
DSE continued scorching up its own trading boards today (13 July), climbing further to TZS 1,100 and then ending at TZS 1,000 in 289 deals (out of 356 total) for a total value traded of TZS 1.1 billion (out of daily traded value of TZS 1.25bn).
Huge interest had already been seen in the initial public offer (IPO) of shares which ran from 16 May and closed on 3 June. Total bids were TZS 35.8 billion ($16.4 million), or 4.8 times the offered amount of TZS 7.5bn ($3.4m). This follows its demutualization in 2015. The Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA) approved that DSE could augment its “green shoe” option from 10% (i.e. TZS 750m) to 35% or TZS 2.6m). That means the DSE raised TZS 10.1m in total.
IPO applications for up to 10,000 shares (TZS 5m) got their application in full, the full 3% allocation was given to staff, and those who applied for more than 10,000 shares received shares pro rata and a refund.
Government is planning pressure to encourage more listings. Speaking at yesterday’s launch, Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango said Government would start with encouragement for privatized companies to list, but it could consider a new law and regulations: “If the mutual talks fail, then the Government will push them to offload some of their shares at the DSE” (as reported in Daily News).
Listed companies that were previous privatizations such as Tanzania Breweries, Tanzania Cigarette Company, National Microfinance Bank, CRDB Bank, Simba Cement, Twiga Cement and TOL Gases are among Tanzania’s 15 largest taxpayers and rated as top-quality employers. Mpango said listing would encourage transparency and good corporate governance, making tax administration easier while enabling citizens to participate in economic activities.
Minister of Finance and Planning Philip Mpango (source rai.co.tz)
DSE CEO Moremi Marwa said more than 400 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) had been privatised in the last 20 years, but only 7 listed on the bourse: “It is advisable that future privatizations are conducted through the capital market.”
Nasama Massinda, CEO of CMSA, said they were very pleased by Government’s move to force telecom companies to list 25% of shares at the DSE. “We believe this is the right thing as we want Tanzanians to own shares of these companies… the trend is that some of the firms are allocating shares to one or two ‘mwananchi’. We want them to sell their shares to the public. And the good thing is that these shares are not given for free since local investors would buy them.” She added that the Mining Act also requires that mining firms with special mining licences should sell part of their shares to citizens through DSE.
Investors who want to buy or sell shares can contact the DSE stockbrokers (licensed dealing members) or trade on the DSE’s mobile phone trading platform by dialling *150*36# and selecting “DSE Shares” from the list.
March 30th, 2016 by Tom Minney
The 5th Building African Financial Markets (BAFM) capacity-building seminar is coming to the Nigerian Stock Exchange Event Centre in Lagos on 28-29 April. This is the top seminar for professionals and strategic leaders from capital markets all over the continent, including securities exchanges, clearing and settlement, stockbrokers, investors, government officials and any organisations which are part of capital markets system. It is organized by the NSE and the African Securities Exchanges Association.
The seminar includes a market closing/opening ceremony and focused learning interactive sessions on key topics around driving liquidity in African capital markets. Topics are very relevant, including securities lending, strengthening equity market structures, derivatives and CCP, optimal price mechanism, global reporting standards, information security, and capital markets integration.
Its suitable for seniors from capital and financial markets in product development, regulation and policy, information technology, investor relations, trading, clearing and settlement.
- Role of securities lending in boosting liquidity in African capital markets
- Strengthening equity market structures in Africa to better address low liquidity
- Instituting an optimal price mechanism on African stock exchanges
- Capital market integration – a catalyst for boosting liquidity on African stock exchanges
- Liquidity enabling regulation
- Role and importance of CCP in a derivatives market
- Trading derivatives products – how the products work?
- Rules governing CCP
- Adhering to best global reporting standards
- Information security – protecting your market’s digital assets.
According to the organizers: “As African economies reposition themselves following the significant impact of global headwinds that have challenged the continent’s growth prospects, African capital markets are instrumental in financing the continent’s infrastructure and capital requirements.”
Cost is NGN70,000 plus VAT/$350. For more go to NSE website.
March 22nd, 2016 by Tom Minney
A couple of interesting statements from speakers at the excellent World Exchange Congress 2016, happening 22-23 March at Bishopsgate in London.
Exchanges – back to the information coffee house
Stu Taylor, CEO of Algomi: Fixed-income trading was dominated by banks who use voice trading and support it with their balance sheets. Most banks and their clients prefer this way and are not naturally going to switch to putting limit orders through the exchanges. We try to see how we can help with parts of the transactions, we worked first with the regulated Swiss exchange to put technology components at banks and that can help them sometimes with their trades, the exchange can help them find different counterparts, or with missed trades or, when they are struggling to complete a deal, the exchange can make suggestions. We suggest actions into the existing workflow, rather than trying to change the workflow. Exchanges can connect information sources so the exchange is the place to see what’s going, it can offer “bond dating”, trying to match buyers and sellers into a transaction.
Historically the technology focus for exchanges has been on execution, but now the innovation is that the exchange is about the information itself. Technology is shrinking the world, we used to talk about 6 degrees of separation in the world. Technology such as Facebook has made that number closer to 3 degrees of separation. Exchanges are back to the origins of exchanges as the coffee shops, finding a place to know someone who knows someone. Information and pre-trade are where the next waves of innovation for exchanges are going to come from.
Exchanges role in banks’ bilateral bond trading, source www.algomi.com
Can technology create liquidity?
Ganesh Iyer, Director of Global Product Marketing at IPC Systems: “Technology has become a facilitator of liquidity. Uber has no taxis but it provides taxi “liquidity”, Airbnb has no rooms but provides accommodation “liquidity”. Technology does not create liquidity on its own but it brings together market participants and that leads to liquidity. In the capital markets it can bring very diverse market participants together, for instance a mutual fund seller with a diverse “buy-side” community including hedge funds, retail, etc.
Move over-the-counter (OTC) trading onto exchanges
April Day, Director, Equities, Association for Financial Markets in Europe: “There is always a need for keep some balance, some trades are not suitable for exchange trading, there is still a time when investors choose to trade off exchange for reasons such as not wanting to share market information, reduce costs, less disclosure, etc.
Sergio Ricardo Liporace Gullo, Chief Representative EMEA BM&FBOVESPA; The Brazil market has reached a big harmony, we have survived many crises and we have a sophisticated system offered by the exchange which offers central clearing and makes all parties’ lives more efficient and offers better use of capital.
Keisuke Arai, Chief Representative in Europe of Japan Exchange Group: The Japaese experience is that it’s important for the exchange to strike the right balance between market efficiency and investor protection.
February 8th, 2016 by Tom Minney
Momentum building fast ahead of the key event for securities exchanges worldwide, the World Exchanges Congress, now in its 11th year and back in central London from 22-23 March.
This is the key gathering where more than 300 members of the global exchange community get together from all continents to share trends and to hear from experts and bourse leaders. Topics of interest in the fast-changing world of established and emerging trading venues regulated exchanges include “new customers, new revenues and new partnerships”.
For more information, check the website here.
The World Exchanges Congress was launched in London in 2005 and has been hosted in Istanbul, Madrid, Doha, Monaco, Dubai and Barcelona. CEOs from virtually every exchange and trading venue in the world have attended. In 2010, the event expanded to look at technology opportunities and challenges and there is strong participation from chief technology officers (CTOs) and other top executives with a focus on trends and innovations.
In 2016, the congress continues to be seen as the unofficial AGM of exchanges and it is the most significant date on every exchange executive’s diary. It gives bourse leaders the opportunity to harness the latest innovations, overcome their biggest challenges and be inspired to drive their organisations forward.
The gathering will focus on the most critical future trends affecting exchanges and changing the exchange landscape, including cyber-security, crowd-funding, bitcoin, big data, crypto-currency and post-trade automation. Core topics running through the programme are the growth of financial centres, market integrity and finding ways to succeed through innovation.
Confirmed speakers are CEOs and other leaders from securities exchanges and other trading venues around the world as well as from the World Federation of Exchanges. They will explain their successes and challenges driving into new partnerships and revenue opportunities including commodities, derivatives and FX, regional expansion, the trading landscape under Europe’s MiFID II directive, opportunities for automation, over-the counter (OTC) trading on exchanges, distributed ledger/block chains, attracting more listings, crowdfunding platforms, data and index revenues for exchanges, post-trade models, innovation pitches, latest developments in central clearing, cyber security and finding new customers and new partnerships.
The conference has a strong tradition of formal and informal networking. It continues to be the key place where exchanges come to meet their peers and colleagues, benchmark their organizations and share ideas. Interactive exchange-led roundtables in 2016 mean that this year’s event will be no different.
For more details and to book your attendance, please head to the conference website.
June 15th, 2015 by Tom Minney
The London Stock Exchange has been licensed by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission to operate as an alternative exchange operator. This means that brokers based in Hong Kong can join as direct members of the LSE and trade for Hong Kong clients in LSE-listed stocks and fixed-income products, provided they meet requirements. They will also get access to the LSE derivatives market, according to this Reuters story.
LSE chief executive Alexander Justham said on Monday (15 June), according to a report in South China Morning Post: “The SFC license is an important move for the London Stock Exchange to further develop our business related to Hong Kong and Chinese companies.”
He expects the new links would encourage more mainland firms to list for trading on the LSE as well as more dim sum bonds, which could create more competition for Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. He said: “The London Stock Exchange is not a competitor to Hong Kong but we could have a cooperation relationship.”
Two Hong Kong financial firms are members of the London Stock Exchange through branches in London and 57 mainland Chinese firms are listed. The LSE signed a memorandum of understanding with 4 companies – Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and Haitong Securities – to help bring more Chinese firms to list in London.
London is developing as a trading hub for yuan.
The LSE has a list of its 883 members based in various countries around the world.