Capital Markets

Dubai company to link NSE with top Africa bourses


A stockbroker at the Nairobi Securities Exchange trading floor. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Dubai-based firm, DirectFN, has won the contract to supply the software that will link Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) with six other top bourses in Africa for seamless cross-border trading.

The award, coming nearly nine months since the tender was advertised, paves the way for DirectFN to deliver an order routing platform that will ease the channelling of orders from a stock market in one county to another.

The African Exchanges Linkage Project (AELP), which is driving the agenda, announced the award, terming it as a step closer to rolling out the linkage.

DirectFN is a global technology firm experienced in capital markets solutions across the Middle East and emerging and frontier markets. It has offices in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.

AELP—a joint initiative of the African Securities Exchanges Association (Asea) and the African Development Bank—said the tender had attracted applications from international suppliers in 18 countries.

“We are excited with this big step towards free movement of investments across Africa and free flow of capital. We aim to open new opportunities for individual and institutional investors to invest productively into Africa’s growth story, said Felix Edoh Kossi Amenounvé, president of Asea.

The participating exchanges include NSE, Casablanca Stock Exchange, The Egyptian Exchange, Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), The Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius and BRVM, which is a regional bourse for eight West African countries.

The seven stock exchanges have a market capitalisation of over Sh132.5 trillion ($1.21 trillion), which JSE being the largest.

Currently, one can trade across the border but the process is cumbersome since it involves appointing a broker in the other country, and routing of orders must happen in that particular country. Order routing is the process by which order goes from the end-user to an exchange.