After nearly a decade in the works, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda are speeding up plans to merge their stock markets electronically in a bid to ease the cost and time difficulties of cross-border trading.
When completed, local investors will be able to buy and sell stocks across those three countries without the currently existing hurdles, such as needing different stockbrokers in each country. The joint-stock market project, which is funded by the World Bank, is expected to become operational by the end of the year.
The move will see the three countries create a stock exchange with a combined market cap of around $15 billion. Yet, it could have been much larger had Kenya not pulled out of the project over alleged procurement irregularities in the awarding of software contracts. Asides from being East Africa’s largest economy, Kenya is also home to the region’s largest stock market with a market cap of $22 billion.
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