W’African Capital Market Regulators Mull Cross Border Listings

By Chineme Okafor in Abuja 
The West African Securities Regulatory Authorities (WASRA) has agreed to converge existing rules used by the capital market regulatory agencies of the region in a bid to ensure that cross border listing is carried out with little or no hindrances.
A statement from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday in Abuja stated that this would be done to allow foreign companies carry out their businesses within the region as well as assist in deepening the capital markets of the sub region.
WASRA, according to SEC, is a regional organisation for West African countries that aims to fashion out modalities and to establish an umbrella body for cooperation and consultations, as well as fostering capital market integration in the region.
It said WASRA was established in 2015, as the recognised forum for capital markets regulators in West Africa.
The statement noted that already, the body would be rounding off work on guidelines on cross border trading and settlement of securities. It explained that these were some of the high points of the meeting of the body held last week in Budapest, Hungary, during the 43rd conference and meeting of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
According to it, the chairman of WASRA and Executive Secretary of Le Conseil Regional de l’Epargne Publique et des Marches Financiers (CREPMF), Abidjan, Mr. Mory Soumahoro, said that on the planned establishment of a regional bond issuing framework for infrastructure financing, issuance will be done across borders.
Soumahoro also confirmed that work has commenced on the modalities, including the rules that will guide the issuance.
Also, the statement noted that the body was working towards building relationship between WASRA and the ECOWAS Commission, as well as the integrated supervision model needed for the establishment of cross border transaction and issuers, the development of the WASRA website and the monitoring framework and review and recommendation of appropriate risk management framework for the supervision in the region.
It said the acting Director General of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, commended WASRA members on their determination to build a strong and competitive regional market that will rank at par with the markets of other regions of the world, especially in the areas of transparency, disclosure, efficiency, accountability and indeed, investor protection.
Uduk also expressed the commitment of SEC to the actualisation of the objectives of WASRA.
She noted the importance of a cohesive collaboration between the relevant securities regulators, operators and other stakeholders in West Africa, and the need to ensure that adequate resources would be devoted to the goal.

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