I was honoured to lead a panel on capital markets development at The Global Africa Investment Summit (www.tgais.com) on 1 Dec. There is research evidence from around the world that well-run capital markets are the most efficient and effective way of channelling capital from savers into investments. We also looked at how capital markets contribute to development.
The very distinguished panel were:
Tutu Agyare, Founder and MD at Nubuke Investments, a registered asset management firm focused on Africa which he founded eight years ago and has won award as Multi-Strategy Hedge Fund of the Year. Before, he spent 21 years with UBS Investment Bank and was recently voted one of the 100 most influential Africans.
Tiaan Bazuin, is the CEO of the NamibiaN Stock Exchange, an experienced and entrepreneurial business executive who has had senior roles in a bank and a telco. He co-authored the Corporate Governance Code For Namibia – NAMCODE –adopted by all listed companies and being used and adapted by many other entities that are worried about how effectively they operate.
Jingdong Hua, Vice President and Treasurer at the International Finance Corporation, which he joined in 2011, after a career at Asian Development Bank in the Philippines and before that as head of investment unit in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York and the African Development Bank in Abidjan. He turned his background in chemical engineering into deep knowledge of finance, industrialization, development and treasury.
William Ato Essien, President, Essien Swiss Int’l Capital Holdings, founder and President of Essien Swiss International Capital Holdings. Unfortunately we missed him due to ill-health.
Paul Murithi Muthaura, Acting Chief Executive, Capital Markets Authority, Kenya, since July 2012. He’s a Board member of IOSCO, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, and a consultative group for the global Financial Stability Board (FSB). He’s closely involved in Kenya’s Vision 2030 and its Delivery Secretariat. He has been with CMA for some years and previously worked with IOSCO General Secretariat. He is a lawyer with senior commercial experience.
Phuti Mahanyele, Founder, Sigma Capital and CEO of Shanduka Group, a R8 billion diversified African investment holding company that was established in 2001. She supervises a diversified portfolio of listed and unlisted investments, in resources, telecoms, real estate, energy, industrials and food & beverage, in various countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique, Mauritius and Ghana. Her previous background was Head of the Project Finance South Africa business unit at the Development Bank of Southern Africa and before that Vice President at Fieldstone, an infrastructure investment firm she joined in New York.
The panel covered topics such as the huge potential for capital markets to channel hundreds of millions of investments into infrastructure and into growing successful businesses. Mr Hua described how the IFC is leveraging local capital and opening up local markets through issues of AAA rated local currency bonds, paving the way for corporate and other investors. We discussed regional linkages and how to deepen Africa’s capital markets, Mr Bazuin talked about ways to build modern infrastructure cost-effectively and platforms for sharing infrastructure between securities exchanges. Mr Agyare said that exchanges do not include companies with great growth potential. Ms Mahanyele spoke of how listing and capital markets provided a way to increase financial inclusion and give Africans a bigger stake in large companies across the continent. Mr Muthaura talked of the role of regulators in building the capital markets and how they are central to achieving national development plans, as well as the fast progress being achieved in East Africa.
We heard how African capital markets can lead the way in terms of cross border investment flows and deepening investment and how our Ministers of Finance, regulators and central banks back this drive. The challenge is for the capital markets to rise to the challenge – Africa needs 300 m jobs, it needs tens of billions of dollars of infrastructure, it needs good governance and well run businesses, it needs growing debt markets. Policymakers, investors and capital market participants can create this – while making money.