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DirectFN signs contract for African Exchanges Linkage Project

The African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) has signed a contract with DirectFN to procure an order-routing system, in support of cross-border trading between African markets.

Seven of Africa’s leading securities exchanges are working together in the African Exchanges Linkage Project (AELP) to boost pan-African investment flows and bring more liquidity to African markets.

The contract is for the design and rollout of the AELP Link technology platform for routing orders and trade confirmations between stockbrokers on the seven exchanges participating in the pilot phase of the AELP, according to a press release by ASEA, revealing that DirectFN, a global IT firm experienced in capital markets solutions across the Middle East and many emerging and frontier markets, was awarded the contract after a competitive bidding process that attracted applications from top international suppliers in 18 countries.

The AELP exchanges are the Egyptian Exchange, Casablanca Stock Exchange, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Nairobi Securities Exchange, Nigerian Exchange, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, and Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM), the stock exchange for the West African Economic and Monetary Union’s eight West African countries.

Investor orders in one market will be channelled by a domestic stockbroker through the AELP Link to a stockbroker on the foreign market where the security is listed, to enter into that market for execution in the foreign market. African listed securities to be accessed through the AELP Link include all securities that are available for cross-border investors.

Equity investments available include Africa’s most promising and profitable businesses as well as some global leaders among more than 1,050 companies listed. Investors will also buy or sell corporate and government bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and derivatives, listed on the participating exchanges and the sponsoring stockbroker provides access.

We are excited with this big step towards free movement of investments across Africa and free flow of capital. Our aim is to open new opportunities for individual and institutional investors to invest productively into Africa’s growth story. The Exchanges continue to support African enterprises and governments to raise long-term capital for African jobs, business growth, infrastructure and development,” said Dr Felix Edoh Kossi Amenounvé, President of ASEA and CEO of BRVM.

Meanwhile, Dr Walid Al Ballaa, Managing Director of DirectFN, said: “With innovative technology and focus to bring digital maturity in building digital relationships through the AELP-Link technology platform establishment, DirectFN feels equally excited to assist practically in realizing the goals across the participating African Exchanges and to enable the African capital market ecosystem digitally to create a positive impact on the overall economy.”

The AELP is a joint initiative by ASEA and the African Development Bank (AfDB) that aims at unlocking pan-African investment flows, promoting innovations that support diversification for investors, and addressing depth and liquidity in the markets. It is funded by a grant from the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Trust Fund managed by the AfDB.