ABIDJAN Feb 9 Turnover on West Africa's BRVM bourse rose 21 percent to 409 billion CFA francs ($663.96 million) in 2016 on the back of solid economic growth in the region, the stock market's general manager said on Thursday.
West African economies were the powerhouse of sub-Saharan Africa in 2016. The West African regional bank said they grew by an estimated 6.9 percent while the World Bank said the estimated 2016 average for sub-Saharan Africa stood at 1.5 percent.
Speaking to reporters in Ivory Coast's commercial capital of Abidjan, where the 43-company BRVM is headquartered, Edo Kossi Amenounve said he expects 16 new companies to list on the BRVM by 2020.
"The year 2016 was an excellent year for us. We have crossed the threshold of 40 listed companies and the liquidity of the market has improved," Amenounve said.
"Many investors buy now and resell later, which makes the market dynamic. Before, many investors were buying to hold on," he added.
The West Africa bourse lists companies from countries including Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, Togo, and Ivory Coast.
Amenounve declined to say which companies might join the bourse but Ivory Coast's NSIA Bank is expected to list by the end of the first quarter of this year.
He also said the stock exchange hoped to launch "diaspora bonds" this year, securities marketed to countries' overseas citizens that were successfully pioneered by India and Israel.
($1 = 616.0000 CFA francs) (Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and David Evans)
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