West Africa bourse to get two more listings this year: CEO

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 12:27 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

LONDON (Reuters): West Africa’s regional stock exchange, BRVM, will see two more companies list their shares in 2015 and aims to double its market capitalisation over the next five years, its Chief Executive Officer said on Tuesday. The exchange, which serves the eight countries that also form the West African CFA franc currency union, currently has 39 companies listed, the latest being Total’s Senegalese subsidiary. “We have now one listed on the stock exchange in January, Total Senegal, and we hope that we will have two more companies listed this year,” Edo Kossi Amenounve told Reuters in an interview. “If we reach this goal of having three (this year) it will be a good achievement for us.” One of the listings will be Bank of Africa Mali, the other one is a private equity exit from a utility firm in Ivory Coast, he added, declining to name the company. In February this year, Amenounve had said he hoped for at least five listings in 2015, including Bank of Africa Mali. The countries in the currency union are Benin, Burkina-Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Speaking on the sidelines of an investment conference in London, Amenounve predicted that the number of stock listings would be boosted in future by private equity companies exiting their investments in the region. “We hope that in the next five years we will double the size of our stock exchange in market capitalisation and have about 60 listed companies,” he said during an investment conference. BRVM’s market capitalisation stood at 7,458 billion CFA francs ($12.4 billion) at the end of last year. The bourse was also in the process of launching a small- and medium-cap segment. The first companies are to be listed next year, ramping up to about 50 listings over the next five years. “We need to make sure we have all the instruments to prepare the SMEs to come to the board, because they are not ready to come yet,” Amenounve said. While more inflows from pension funds and other regional Western African investors was important, Amenounve said he also wanted to see more foreign investors putting their money into the bourse. “50/50 would be a good split,” he said, adding currently 44% of investors come from outside West Africa.