LONDON, May 26 (Reuters) - West Africa's regional stock exchange, BRVM, expects the number of foreign investors active on the bourse to rise to triple digits once it is included in a key frontier market benchmark later in 2016, its chief executive officer said on Thursday.
The exchange, with a market capitalisation of about $15 billion, serves the eight countries that form the West African CFA franc currency union and has 39 listed companies.
U.S. index provider MSCI announced earlier in May that it would add its West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Countries Index to its Frontier Markets benchmark.
"We already have around 60 international investors, and we expect to see this number rise to 100," Edoh Kossi Amenounve told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of an investment conference in London.
He expected the new investors to come from the United States and Britain, but also from Gulf countries. Foreign investors currently hold 25 percent of the stocks listed on the bourse, though this could rise to around 30 percent, Amenounve added.
He expected four listings this year, with Bank of Africa Mali starting to trade on the bourse on Tuesday.
Two lenders from Ivory Coast - NSIA-Banque and SIB - are also expected to list in 2016, as is Burkina Faso's Coris Bank, he added. (Reporting by Karin Strohecker Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)