By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Last Friday, the African Exchanges Linkage Project (AELP) successfully integrated seven African capital markets by facilitating cross-border trading and free movement of investments in the continent through the AELP Link platform.
The go-live happened when the platform was officially switched on at 0000 UTC, allowing the trading of exchange-listed securities across the participating securities exchanges.
The AELP, a flagship project of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), is aimed at facilitating cross-border trading among seven participating Exchanges and select broker firms.
The seven exchanges participating in Phase 1 of the AELP are Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres (BRVM), Bourse de Casablanca, The Egyptian Exchange (EGX), Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), and Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM).
In July 2021, ASEA signed a contract with DirectFN Ltd for the design and implementation of the AELP Link trading system in the seven markets.
The link, which is hosted on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), has been designed to integrate with exchange and broker trading systems and is available in English, French and Arabic.
It aggregates live market data from the Exchanges and enables brokers to access information and see the market depth and liquidity of the foreign market of interest.
In the project’s first phase, 33 stockbrokers have connected as at go-live based on agreed criteria and expression of interest by approved licensed dealing members from each of the participating exchanges.
They have already embarked on signing counterparty broker agreements between different markets. The sponsoring stockbrokers enable access to their domestic markets to sponsored stockbrokers from other markets and vice versa.
The sponsoring broker will clear and settle trades in the host market using their local currency in compliance with the host market’s rules and practices. The regulatory bodies in all the participating markets are therefore apprised of the progress. Participating trading license holders from Nigeria are FBNQuest Securities Limited; Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers Limited; Chapel Hill Denham; Cardinal Stone Securities Ltd; Cordros Securities Limited; and RMB Stockbrokers.
Commenting on the go-live, the ASEA President, Dr Edoh Kossi Amenounve, said, “The go-live today of the AELP Link is a great milestone towards achieving ASEA’s mission to engage African capital market ecosystems in order to foster capital mobilization, promote sustainability, and enhance financial inclusion for the benefit of Africa’s economic development.
“Trading infrastructure harmonization through the Link is expected to ease existing trading processes and potentially reduce the cost of trading across African capital markets.
“I, therefore, congratulate all the participating exchanges and the respective brokers for being front-runners in this great pan-African integration initiative.”
Speaking on the successful live integration of the AELP, the CEO of NGX Limited, Mr Temi Popoola, lauded the efforts of stakeholders in the actualisation of the project.
“The AELP Link is a testament to the will of African capital market participants, particularly exchanges to effectively collaborate and drive cross-border trading and capital formation.
“It will significantly facilitate capital flows between African countries and further move us closer to the accomplishment of the goals of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement via the fusion of our respective financial markets.”
The ASSDA Organising Secretary, Mr Willie Njoroge, observed that “this is a historic moment for Africa, to finally actualize the linking of stock exchanges across Africa after many unsuccessful attempts over the last 2 decades.”
Business Post learned that the AELP test environment has been operational since July 2022, enabling the stockbrokers and securities dealers to familiarize themselves with the platform and execute mock trades. This culminated in the completion of the User Acceptance Testing on November 7, paving the way for the technical go-live on November 18.
South Korea Pledges Mpox Vaccine Supplies
By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh
Sadly, African health authorities for several months have pursued vaccines for curing mpox and its further spread mostly in vain as worldwide outbreaks were reported during this year. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel as some considerable assistance might come from the Republic of South Korea.
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said some few thousand doses being the first consignment of mpox vaccines as a donation, would arrive shortly and be used for health workers and people living with the disease in the hardest-hit areas in Africa.
The continent this year has recorded 202 deaths from mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, with a fatality rate of 19.3% across 13 countries. African health authorities for months have made feverish efforts in search for curbing the disease’s spread.
According to the Acting CDC director, Ahmed Ogwell, more than 50 new mpox cases in Congo were recorded this month and said Ghana and Nigeria are the other most affected countries. A surge in mpox infections was particularly reported last May outside West and Central Africa.
“Let us get vaccines onto the continent,” CDC Acting Head, Ahmed Ogwell, said in a weekly media briefing pointing to another instance of 1.3 billion people on the continent without access to a vaccine, as in the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The solutions need to be global in nature. If we’re not safe, the rest of the world is not safe,” he warned.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has, however, warned against discrimination. “A failure to act will have grave consequences for global health,” Lawrence Gostin, Director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, said on Twitter.
Health officials have emphasized that mpox can infect anyone in close contact with a patient or their contaminated clothing or bedsheets. Researchers are still exploring to establish how it spreads but believe it’s mainly through close, skin-to-skin contact and through contact with bedding and clothing that touched an infected person’s rash or body fluids.
It generally causes mild to moderate symptoms, including fever, fatigue and painful skin lesions that resolve within a few weeks.
Reports, however, said that the mpox had been established in parts of Central and West Africa for decades; it was not known to spark large outbreaks beyond the continent or to spread widely among people until May when authorities detected dozens of epidemics in Europe, North America and elsewhere.
In Africa, mpox mainly spreads to people by infected wild animals like rodents in limited outbreaks that typically have not crossed borders. In Europe, North America and elsewhere, the mpox is spreading among people with no links to animals or recent travel to Africa. In the U.S. and Europe, the vast majority of infections occur among men who have sex with men, though health officials have stressed that anyone can contract the virus.
Access Holdings Merges Sigma, FGPL for Formidable PFA Business
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
To create a formidable pension funds administration (PFA) business in Nigeria, Access Holdings Plc has merged its subsidiary, First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL), with Sigma Pensions Limited.
The marriage between the two PFAs was made possible after Access Holdings acquired an indirect equity stake in Sigma.
Recall that in October, the company announced that it was buying a stake in Sigma to revolutionise the PFA sector.
On Thursday, a court approved the merger between the firm and FGPL, giving room for the organisations to become one and offer innovative products to customers.
A notice signed by the group company secretary of Access Holdings, Mr Sunday Ekwochi, confirmed the development.
“Sequel to our announcement on October 25, 2022, Access Holdings Plc, trading as Access Corporation, today announces the completion of its acquisition of an indirect equity stake in Sigma and the merger of its subsidiary, FGPL, with Sigma.
“Following the sanction of the scheme of merger between Sigma and FGPL by the Federal High Court on December 1, 2022, FGPL has been dissolved without winding up, leaving Sigma as the surviving entity,” a part of the statement dated Friday, December 2, 2022.
“Following the successful completion of the merger, our plan is to leverage the synergies of these entities, as well as the corporation’s expansive distribution network, strong risk management culture and best-in-class governance standards to create a formidable pension funds administration business,” the group chief executive of Access Holdings, Mr Herbert Wigwe, stated.
FrieslandCampina Buoys Unlisted Securities Market by 1.11%
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the positive zone on Friday, December 2, as it appreciated by 1.11 per cent at the close of business.
This was driven by a gain in the stock price of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc. The company appreciated by N5.29 price to close at N66.63 per share versus the previous day’s price of N61.34 per share.
This outweighed the 1 Kobo loss recorded by UBN Property Plc during the session as the price of the property investment company went down to 91 Kobo per unit from the preceding session’s 92 Kobo.
When the market closed for the day, the total value of the unlisted securities market increased by N10.27 billion to N933.71 billion from N923.44 billion.
In the same vein, the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) stretched by 7.82 basis points to 710.58 basis points from the 702.76 basis points in the previous session.
During the session, there was a surge in the volume of securities by 140,993.7 per cent as investors exchanged 2.2 million units, in contrast to the previous day’s 14,508 units.
Likewise, the value of shares traded at the session ballooned by 1,526.6 per cent to N10.7 million from the N657,534.75 recorded a day earlier, while the number of deals improved by 400 per cent to 20 deals from four deals.
When the market closed for the day, AG Mortgage Bank Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc occupied second place with 687.8 million units worth N14.3 billion, while Lighthouse Financials Services Plc was in third place with 224.7 million units valued at N112.3 million.
Also, CSCS Plc ended the day as the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) by trading 687.8 million units worth N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 29.1 billion units valued at N7.7 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc was in third place after selling 16.8 million units worth N1.9 billion.
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