Uganda’s Second Stock Exchange Opens, Seeks 10 Million Accounts

Uganda’s second stock exchange started operating Wednesday, more than two years after winning approval, and said it seeks to win 10 million customers within five years.

ALTX East Africa Ltd., a unit of Mauritius-founded ALTX Africa Group, will run with fully automated systems enabling it to handle 150,000 transactions a second and provide settlement within 15 minutes, Chief Executive Officer Joseph Kitamirike told reporters in the capital, Kampala. The exchange’s first trades were in depository receipts for Ugandan government debt and it will also deal in equities, currencies and derivatives, he said.

The new bourse competes with the 18-year-old Uganda Securities Exchange, which has 16 stocks -- eight of them secondary company listings from neighboring Kenya, and which trades in Treasury bills and bonds. ALTX East Africa has received one listing prospectus, Kitamirike said, without providing details.

The exchange will target young investors, Kitamirike said, looking to expand trading in a country where just 25,000 people among a population of 36 million own shares. The group plans to establish 10 exchanges around Africa, forging links to as many as 20 others, he said, without giving a time frame.

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