November 10, 2014 / 10:58 AM / 6 years ago

Ugandan bourse sees listings, higher trade volume in 2015

KAMPALA, Nov 10 (Reuters) - The Uganda Securities Exchange expects three equity, two corporate bond listings and a doubling of the annual trading volume in 2015, spurred by institutional investors, the bourse said on Monday.

Foreign investor interest in Uganda has risen in recent years as the east African nation prepares to begin crude oil production in 2018. The International Monetary Fund expects economic growth to hit 6.1 percent in the 2014/15 fiscal year, which begins in July.

Innocent Dankaine, the bourse’s acting chief executive said the equities and bonds were from the financial services, energy and real estate sectors but he declined to name the companies.

“All these are likely to crystallize in terms of actually coming to the market in the second and third quarter of next year,” he told Reuters.

The country’s 17-year-old bourse has 16 companies and six corporate bonds listed, with a market capitalisation of 25 trillion shillings ($9.24 billion). Nearly half of the stocks have their primary listing on the Nairobi Securities Exchange .

Regulatory and operational reforms have been introduced to harmonise the Ugandan exchange’s standards with those of other bourses to help increase investor confidence and trading activity, Dankaine said.

Last year around $70 million dollars changed hands at the bourse and Dankaine said that amount may double this year as institutions, such as pension funds, account for more of the trading on the exchange.

Although most of the Ugandan companies on the exchange were formerly state owned, Dankaine said the exchange was looking to attract private equity holders looking to sell their stakes to consider USE as an option for an exit strategy.

1 US dollar = 2,707.0000 Ugandan shilling Editing by Edith Honan and Louise Heavens

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