Alternative Stock Exchange Launched In Uganda

Alternative Stock Exchange Launched In Uganda

By Catherine Mungoshi / From Footprint to Africa

ALTX East Africa, the alternative stock exchange, has started operations in Uganda, with government debt – treasury bills and bonds – the first to be traded this week.

The electronic platform has gone live and Ugandans can now register online to start trading. Joseph Kitamirike, the executive director of ALTX, told reporters last week at the company’s offices in Kololo, that they are a multi-currency platform; so, one does not have to first convert to shillings to trade.

According to Kitamirike, investors can buy securities such as treasury bonds and treasury bills from Bank of Uganda and then float them at the ALTX platform. Government borrows from the domestic market through the issuance of treasury bills and bonds, done on its behalf by the central bank.

While the minimum balance for an individual to invest in treasury bills and bonds is set at Shs 100,000, ALTX has put their amount at Shs10,000.

“We don’t want money to be a hindrance; let people come and trade,” said Kitamirike.

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) licensed ALTX in 2014. The platform will trade in bonds, equities, derivatives, and depositary receipts. The company plans to link to other stock exchanges, including the Uganda Securities Exchange, so that investors can buy shares of listed companies. “We have that capacity,” Kitamirike said.

Kitamirike, the former chief executive officer of USE, said they were talking to a couple of firms to see if they can offer shares on the exchange for the public to buy.

The biggest sell-point for ALTX is the speed. According to Kitamirike, their system can close a transaction in a space of a second.

Read more at Footprint to Africa