For many years foreign investors avoided buying Tanzania’s publicly listed securities due to restrictive laws and low liquidity at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE).
The bourse chief executive, Moremi Marwa, is however working to change this and earlier this year hired on a South African software company Securities and Trading Technologies (STT) to upgrade its trading, clearing and settlement platform
This was after Tanzanian government relax trading rules for foreign in September last year and allowed them to invest in more than 60 percent of shares in a locally listed firm. The removal of the cap has seen foreign investors account for over 60 percent of daily trading that the DSE.
DSE is now following in the steps of its progressive neighbor the Nairobi Securities Exchange in planning a derivatives and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) trading platform.
“We think if the legal and regulatory framework will allow, then introduction of new products in the market will come in the next few months,” Marwa told Reuters in an interview.
Many African stock exchanges are introducing new products to accommodate growing demand for capital by local companies that have largely benefitted from the high growth rates the continent has witnessed over the last decade that has seen the middle class swell across the region.
As part of STT upgrade at the Tanzanian bourse, a manual settlement process was replaced by an automated one, which shortened settlement from five to three days. It also made it possible to integrate the bourse with a mobile trading platform that allows investors to trade on their cellphones.
These changes have led to a spike in turnover at the DSE, Marwa said, adding that he expected it to more than double to about 800 billion Tanzanian shillings ($370 million) by the end of this year, from 383 billion in 2014.
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