By Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita
The African growth story is no longer a fairy tale. Over the past decade multinational companies, private equity funds and infrastructure development programmes have channelled capital to the continent as they began to realise the true potential it holds, but like most emerging market regions, Africa is no longer the ‘flavour of the month’.
Yet those of us who run Africa’s Capital Markets have to admit that only a small portion of global investment flows to this region come through our platforms. Although there are 29 stock exchanges located across 27 African countries, many still do not offer enough liquidity to attract meaningful levels of investment.
This is a difficult obstacle to overcome, as a lack of liquidity can only be addressed through higher levels of investment on our exchanges.
Many of our exchanges also still need to realise the importance of providing accurate and timely market information. This lack of information makes investors much more hesitant about investing on the continent and perpetuates the view that Africa is still the dark continent.
More liquidity, better access to information and enabling regulation will generate more interest from foreign market participants because as a continent we are competing with other emerging and frontier markets for both local and international investment flows.
The role of African stock exchanges is far greater than providing foreign investors with a potential entry point to the continent. Our markets provide platforms for companies to raise capital to fund their growth and expansion and can therefore play a vital role in fostering and sustaining economic growth.
However, for Capital Markets to truly make a meaningful difference to economic growth and development we must be truly inclusive in our approach. Our markets cannot be accessible to only large companies.
While big companies make important contributions to an economy, they do not represent it in its entirety. Share price trends of these Groups often do not truly reflect the economic reality that most Africans experience and in which they are trying to build their businesses.
The JSE’s answer to this challenge has been to move down the continuum of funding to also provide capital-raising platforms for small and medium-sized businesses which form the true engine driving many developing economies.
In 2003, the JSE created the AltX platform to enable companies to grow within the framework of a highly reputable market place, while also providing investors with exposure to these businesses in a regulated environment.
At present, there are 61 companies listed on the AltX, with a total market capitalisation of R39.19 billion as at 21 November 2016. Since the inception of the AltX 13 years ago, more than 29 companies have migrated to the JSE’s Main Board, demonstrating that the AltX is a catalyst for growth.
We are also working on a project to assist even smaller companies than those on our AltX board to raise capital. This will provide these companies with the opportunity to expand their roles in the real economy.
The development of platforms for small to medium-sized businesses to list across African capital markets will also allow private equity investors to consider listing as an effective way to realising the return on their investments.
This means that the development of stock exchanges will not only encourage further investment through the exchanges themselves, but also in the broader real economy. The listing process can also contribute to a company’s development through encouraging greater transparency and stronger corporate governance.
How to bring stock exchanges and smaller businesses together will be one of the key topics discussed this month at the Annual African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) Conference and General Meeting.
The theme of this year’s conference, taking place in Kigali Rwanda, is The Road to 2030: Making the African Capital Markets Relevant to the real economy. This key annual event in Africa’s Capital Markets sector enables markets to discuss how African securities exchanges can become more effective so that they can play a bigger role in mobilising capital for African businesses to drive our economies onto the global economic stage.
We cannot deny that Africa is currently experiencing uneven levels of economic growth, but there are some markets that are showing consistently good growth which we need to take advantage of. The world is facing challenges on multiple fronts as the U.S. Federal Reserve continues its monetary tightening, Europe is struggling to manage migrant and debt crisis, China’s financial stability is in doubt – all weighing on emerging economies.
Most of these influences fall outside our control. But what is left within Africa’s control is the ability to create an environment in which small and medium-sized businesses can thrive. The shift in focus from large corporates to smaller enterprises is but a natural progression in the evolution of capital markets as these are the businesses which are creating jobs, fostering innovation and pushing the African economy forward despite stronger headwinds like lower global growth and depressed commodity prices.
Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita is the Chairman, Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)
Rights And Duties Of The Employer In Nigeria
By Benita Ayo
In recent times, we have witnessed unprecedented changes to the existing principles of the common law relating to the employer. An employer is a person or an individual or an organisation in the government, private, nonprofit or business sector that hires and pays people for their work.
The Chief Statutory Provision regulating employment relationships in Nigeria is the Nigerian Labour Act. Now, contained in the Labour Act is a body of Rights and duties which an employer is both entitled to and owes his employees.
Rights of the Employer
The rights of the employer include;
- Right to hire
- Right to fire
Duties of the Employer
A duty is an obligation owed by one person to another. The employer’s duties to his employees include the following;
- Duty to provide work
- Duty to pay agreed wages
- Duty to take care of Employee’s safety
- Duty to Indemnify the Employee
- Duty to conduct medical exams of employees to ensure that they are fit for work
- Duty to provide a written contract of Employment
Consequences of Failure to perform his Duties
Where an employer fails to perform his duties as required by the Law, the employer becomes liable and can be sued by the employee for remedy.
The appropriate court having jurisdiction over labour-related disputes in Nigeria is the National Industrial Court.
You may contact me via the under-listed channels for further consultations on the following services;
- Employment grievance counselling/settlement Negotiations
- Employment Contract drafting/Review/Advisory
- Legal Representations (Court Appearances)
- Any other Employment related matters
Benita Ayo is a Seasoned Corporate Commercial Counsel with over 9 years post-call experience. She has handled myriads of briefs in Corporate/Commercial, Employment Law as well as Property Transactional Practice
Domestic Bourse Rebounds by 0.23% Amid Low Turnover
By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited appreciated by 0.23 per cent on Wednesday after it closed in the red territory in the preceding trading session.
The 0.94 per cent, 0.39 per cent, and 0.04 per cent gains posted by the industrial goods, the banking and the insurance sectors, respectively, supported the growth recorded by the domestic bourse in the midweek session.
They helped to offset the 0.14 per cent loss printed by the consumer goods counter as the energy space closed flat.
At the close of business, the All-Share Index (ASI) was up by 127.29 points to 54,427.05 points from 54,299.76 points, as the market capitalisation grew by N69 billion to N29.645 trillion from N29.576 trillion.
The turnover for yesterday’s trading session was low as investors transacted 151.6 million stocks worth N1.8 billion in 2,974 deals compared with 200.0 million stocks worth N7.6 billion traded in 4,380 deals on Tuesday, indicating a decline in the trading volume, value and the number of deals by 24.20 per cent, 76.32 per cent, and 32.10 per cent apiece.
Universal Insurance ended the day as the most active stock after it traded 20.0 million, followed by Transcorp, which exchanged 18.7 million units, GTCO with 17.0 million units, Sterling Bank with 15.6 million units, and UBA with 7.7 million units.
Business Post reports that investor sentiment was weak yesterday after the stock exchange closed with 23 price losers and 11 price gainers, indicating a negative market breadth.
Tripple Gee gained 9.52 per cent to sell at N1.15, International Energy Insurance rose by 9.40 per cent to N1.28, Japaul grew by 3.45 per cent to 30 Kobo, Axa Mansard increased by 2.50 per cent to N2.05, and Africa Prudential improved by 2.46 per cent to N6.25.
On the flip side, Trans Nationwide Express lost 9.76 per cent to trade at 74 Kobo, Transcorp fell by 7.35 per cent to N1.26, Courteville depreciated by 6.00 per cent to 47 Kobo, Prestige Assurance lost 4.76 per cent to finish at 40 Kobo, and UPDC REIT shrank by 4.41 per cent to N3.25.
How to Start and Grow Your Forex Business
Starting a forex business is just as difficult and time-consuming as starting any other type of business. You need to decide on what you will provide, how you will make money, register your business, and everything in between.
While it can be difficult and take anything from a couple of months to a few years to start, there are some key points you need to figure out as quickly as you can to ensure a smooth start and consistent growth.
The first thing you will need to do is become a master of trading and strategy building. The best way to do this is to start looking at trading as a job. You need to know everything you possibly can about currencies, your chosen trading platform, etc., if you are going to turn this into a business.
Using your own money to trade and test strategies is the best way to figure out your strengths, as well as a way to find out the best product you can provide.
Share Strategies & Knowledge Online
The next thing you need to do is to create an online presence. This can be done with social media, YouTube videos, and a website. The goal is to build a name for yourself as an authority in the forex space.
At this point, you most likely won’t be able to monetize what you are sharing, but the exposure you gain, especially if you are offering something successful and unique, will be invaluable later on.
This can also be a way to see if forex social media can be a business by itself. Considering how big social media is and how much money brands will pay to be featured, being a forex social media influencer can be right up your alley.
Depending on how big or small you want your business to be at the start will decide how much initial capital you need. At the very least, you will probably want a new computer, extra monitors, subscriptions, etc., in the beginning.
Once you have begun doing business and have some clients and work under your belt, that’s when you can begin planning to move into an office space or something similar.
What Will You Offer?
One of the most crucial steps in this process is deciding on what you will be offering. Are you a developer wanting to start a trading platform, do you code trading bots, or are you someone looking to share their knowledge through online courses?
This is a vital step as it will decide how you will market your product, where you will sell it, and who your target audience is.
How Will You Make Money?
Once you have your product, you need to decide how you are going to make money from it. There are a couple of ways to go about this; you can choose to sell your product as a once-purchase, or you can sell it as a subscription.
It is important to note that two things may seem very different, but the way you can sell them is the same. Both courses and a trading bot, for example, can be sold on a monthly subscription basis.
Once you have reached the stage where you are ready to go, you will need to go about registering your business. This will differ depending on where you are; therefore, it is imperative that you do the necessary research.
Even if you are still a small, one-person operation, the sooner you register your business, the sooner you can be entitled to business loans, hire employees, and everything else you will need to expand.
Speaking of employees, once you have grown your client base and the work is flowing in, there will come a time when you won’t be able to do everything yourself. While there is certainly no need to hire a full team, there are ways to receive the extra help you need.
Hiring people on a freelance basis will give you the extra hands you need when you need them, but when business is slower, you aren’t paying out money without that cash coming back into the business. While this isn’t a permanent solution, it is a great strategy for start-up businesses.
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