Serrari Group

In a groundbreaking move aimed at bolstering cross-border trading opportunities within Africa, SecondSTAX, a fintech start-up, and the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) have joined forces to unveil a new trading platform. The platform, set to transform the investment landscape, now includes the participation of the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) accessible to Nigerian investors through Afrinvest.

This strategic initiative has marked the inclusion of the Nigeria stock exchange within the SecondSTAX platform, presenting Kenyan investors with a unique opportunity to directly engage with the Nigerian market. SecondSTAX, having successfully entered the Kenyan market last November, partnered with local stockbroker Kestrel Capital and Ghanaian intermediary Databank.

The SecondSTAX platform empowers institutional clients to trade directly through its online portal while ensuring that all trades are channeled through registered stockbrokers.

Notably, the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) remains accessible to Kenyan investors, but concerns regarding risk and capital movement costs have restrained many from venturing into other African markets. The absence of a common infrastructure for trading and settlement has further hampered cross-border trading across the continent, despite substantial growth in African exchanges over the past two decades.

However, recent developments indicate progress towards the integration of African markets. The African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) launched the African Exchanges Linkage Project (AELP) in November 2022. This initiative provides an order-routing system to facilitate transactions between stockbrokers on participating exchanges.

In June, SecondSTAX inked a memorandum of understanding with AELP to provide technical and operational support as the project expands across its 25 member exchanges. Additionally, this partnership grants ASEA members, investors, and investment firms access to SecondSTAX’s research portal.

“We are in consultations with ASEA to expand into all their jurisdictions, starting with those already included in the AELP Phase 1 launch,” Mr. Tawiah revealed.

The agreement also encompasses access to SecondSTAX’s know-your-customer (KYC) portal, reducing the risk associated with investors making initial trades in markets outside their home regions. Furthermore, ASEA members will gain access to the SecondSTAX liquidity providers portal, which lists licensed foreign exchange providers, including those under the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS).

These developments offer newfound hope to markets like the NSE, which have witnessed decreased trading activity, and pave the way for cross-border capital-raising ventures, including regional IPOs and bonds.

Last year, SecondSTAX secured $1.6 million in funding from private investors and venture capital funds, solidifying its mission to facilitate intercontinental equity and debt trading across African markets. Founded by Eugene Tawiah and Duke Lartey, this Ghanaian fintech aims to harmonize Africa’s fragmented capital markets, making them more accessible to investors beyond their home countries.

Source: Vanguard via Taarifa Rwanda

10th October, 2023
Delino Gayweh
Serrari Financial Analyst

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