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West African capital markets to be integrated Q1, 2016

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CHAIRMAN of the Board of  Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC],  Suleyman Ndanusa has assured that all the capital markets of countries within the West African sub-region would be integrated by the first quarter of 2016.

  Ndanusa made this known after the opening session of the fifth meeting of the West African Capital Markets Integration Council (WACMIC) in Abuja, yesterday.

  The SEC Chairman, who expressed satisfaction with the progress so far made in the integration process, said significant achievement had been recorded in two out of the three phases for integration required for capital market integration.

  The three phases are the direct access market phase; the qualified West African stockbroker phase; and the West African capital market phase which is the ultimate one. 

  According to the timetable, by the end of 2015, we should have substantially gone through all the stages. We have three stages and we attained stage 1 in April 2014; we are working towards stage two and three. So obviously, latest by first quarter of 2016 we should have attained the three stages for integrating the capital market in West Africa,” Ndanusa said.

   He charged the council to push harder for the harmonization of market processes, regime instruments, while ensuring the environment is as adaptable as possible and that compliance cost minimal

   “Let us push harder for the harmonization of market processes, regimes and instruments, while ensuring the environment is as adaptable as possible and that compliance costs are minimal. We should also properly situate financial literacy and financial inclusion within the architecture of this integration project. The people of this Region must, after all, be carried along for the ultimate actualization of this lofty dream” he added.

   He said integrating the markets would not only empower the region to be a formidable force to other emerging markets, but would also tackle the challenge of depth and liquidity which would help create a bigger market for both local and foreign investors.

   Ndanusa also disclosed that the issue of lack of a single currency for the sub-region is currently being looked at by the West African Monetary Union.

   “There is a technical committee working on this issue made up of the central bank’s of participating countries for this market. We are working with the ministries of finances and so by the time we get to the level of full integration, that issue would have been resolved,” he added.

  The outgoing Chairman WACMIC,  Oscar Onyeama called on the technical committee members of the council to ensure that the implementation continues and that markets are positioned to play a critical role in development across the sub-region.

   Onyeama, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, said with a population of over 300 million people with a combined Gross Domestic Product of $600billion and a landmass bigger than that of the European Union, the region would witness improvement in its GDP.

 



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