SEC Finalises Rules on Securities Trading across West Africa

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Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Mary Uduk, has disclosed that the West African Securities Regulatory Authorities (WASRA). has drawn up draft guidelines for cross border issuance of fixed incomes as well as a mutual recognition agreement for the region.

According to her, this milestone among others was unveiled at a meeting of the body held in Sydney, Australia on the sidelines of the 44th conference/meeting of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

Uduk who spoke in an interview following the event, said members discussed the guidelines extensively at the meeting with the aim of giving a final approval in their next Executive Council meeting.

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Uduk recalled that WASRA had consented to the convergence of existing rules of capital market regulatory agencies within the region in a bid to ensure that cross-border listing is carried out with little or no hitches.

“This is expected to allow foreign companies carry out their businesses and assist in deepening capital markets within the West African sub-region,” she explained.

The SEC DG also disclosed that the body is working towards building the relationship between WASRA and ECOWAS Commission; working on the integrated supervision model needed for the establishment of cross-border transaction and issuers; and the monitoring framework and recommendation of appropriate risk management framework for the supervision in the region (issuance of cross border).

She thus commended WASRA members for their determination to build a strong and competitive regional market that would rank at par with the markets of other regions of the world, and more importantly, in the areas of transparency, disclosure, efficiency, accountability and investor protection.

Uduk noted that “The Growth and Emerging Market Committee (GEMC) also deliberated on its work carried out on Sustainable Financing” as part of the activities of the event.

According to her, this was an area considered by the GEMC to be critical and urges the capital market regulators to engage the industry largely to promote sustainable financing in the region.

“The aim of these meetings was to foster the growth of capital markets in the region through integration and deepening of the markets by sharing information and experiences from different jurisdictions” she added.

Highlights from these meetings, she said, were high-level discussions on Emerging Risks in the region; Margin requirements, Leveraging on Asset Management Investment Funds, Market Fragmentation, Fintech, Crypto Assets and Sustainable Finance.