Friday, December 13, 2013

African Stock Exchange Association meeting 2013

The African Stock Exchange Association meeting of 2013 is one I was sorry to miss. The meeting was in early  December in Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire and Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM) headquarters. 
Next year, 2014 it will be in Kenya. I hope to make that meeting!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

East African Monetary Union

East African leaders agreed a monetary union protocol to be established within the next 10 years. There will be challenges to achieving this efficiency but given the possibility it will be exciting to see how this all pans out.  

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Financial Regulation in Africa

I neglected to mention this book when I first learned about it, Financial Regulation in Africa, by Iwa Salami.
It is published by Ashgate and the ebook is available. It is the first book to compile and outline markets laws in Africa.

This is a huge step toward filling the gap in the legal literature about financial markets in Africa. For many focused on Africa- researchers, investors, business people, this will pave the road for a better understanding of emerging and frontier capital markets. the focus of the book is integration of those markets.

Integration is an immensely interesting area for markets in Africa since so many are small and illiquid. Economies of scale argue for a combination of efforts to achieve efficiency for investors and the markets themselves. Integration however requires political will. Capital markets can be a thing of pride- a declaration that the country is "Open for Business." Integration requires a sacrifice of individual identity to a group identity. There seem to be many obstacles to integration particularly in sub-Saharan African markets.

Professor Salami has done a great service to researchers in the field and I cannot wait for my book to arrive! ...even though it is a little late!!               

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Infrastructure investment in Africa

Lots of interesting developments in infrastructure in Africa these days.
Hope for a more connected future!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Namimbian Securities Exchange

Namibia is establishing a new securities exchange. the Namibian Stock Exchange will be joined by NamFin-X. NamFin-X will provide a source of revenue through capital raising for small to medium enterprises in Namibia. It will be member of the World Federation of Exchanges as well.

Along with Angola and Namibia, a new commodities exchange is being developed in East Africa. The EAX will begin trading commodities in Rwanda first then expand with hubs in all of the East African countries.

Many exciting things in the capital Markets of Africa!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Luanda Bourse

Angola has passed the laws necessary to establish a stock exchange. A secondary market will be opened next year, 2014, making ways for an equity market in 2016. Angola is the second largest oil producer after Nigeria and has made arrangement with the London Stock Exchange to provide training to build the skills capacity for the new market. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Legal Education reform in the US

The American Bar Association just posted the draft report and recommendations of the Task Force on the Future of Legal Education. It has some really interesting recommendations. I cannot say that they are extraordinary. The task force recommends several changes that are meant to level financial inequality and provide for more diversity and allowing for more innovation which interest me the most.

Fundamentally, the task force reminds us that legal education is a private and a public good. Having competent legal service providers is a public good that the state must ensure. Legal education promotes the creation of problem solvers and critical thinkers who can serve as leaders, also a public good. Legal education also provides individuals the ability to study and then go practice law. Law schools historically did not need to consider the marketplace for their graduates but society is asking them to do so now.

Tie scholarships to financial need not LSAT scores 

The task force asks law schools to reconsider allowing scholarships for those who apply with high LSAT (law school admissions test) scores. Instead, financial support should be tied to financial need. This will allow students who have the greatest needs, historically minority students, the best opportunity to succeed without crushing debt after law school graduation.

State Bar innovation

State bars which regulate admission to the bar are encouraged to consider proposals to reduce the amount of law study required to take the bar exam. This includes the ability to complete undergraduate study that allows for sitting the bar exam as well.

Innovation in California

The State Bar of California is already considering a Limited License to practice law structure. In addition, the Supreme Court of California is hearing a case regarding allowing an illegal immigrant to take the California State Bar exam, allowing them to practice law in California.

Interesting domestic changes that are the result of economic shifts int he delivery of legal services as well as the growing number of individuals who need legal services and cannot afford it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

South African Constitutional Court ruling regarding the 2008 SADC Tribunal judgement in favor of Zimbabwe farmers.

In 2008 a group of Zimbabwe Farmers succeeded in winning a judgement for recovery of damages for the loss of their farms against the Zimbabwe Government. The judgement was rendered by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal. That judgement had to be enforced by a court. The court that the Farmers requested to enforce the judgement was the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria (High Court). The High Court ordered the payment of the judgement through attachment of Zimbabwe property in South Africa.

Zimbabwe appealed this decision. This month the Constitutional Court of South Africa, in a majority opinion written by Chief Justice Mogoeng, agreed with the lower court's decision to attach Zimbabwe property located in South Africa. The Court stated that it had extended the common law on enforcement of foreign judgments to include SADC Tribunal rulings. Additionally, the Chief Justice stated that the SADC Tribunal was established for this purpose, to allow citizens of SADC member states to seek redress for acts by those states.    

Further notes:
The SADC Tribunal was suspended in 2010 and reorganized in terms of purpose in 2012. Additionally, several properties owned by Zimbabwe in SA have been given diplomatic immunity and so cannot be attached in order to satisfy the judgement. One property was not able to be given such immunity and was attached in execution of the debt for the judgement.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New Financial Instruments East Africa

East Africa is developing new financial instruments to trade on their exchanges. According to Bloomberg,  the Nairobi Stock Exchange is acquiring regulatory approval for REITS and other futures instruments as well as Exchange Traded funds (ETF).

This is a brave new world for East Africa and new regulatory advances will follow. Institutional investors will be very interested to see firm investor protections in place to support investment in these new areas. In addition, dispute resolution processes available for potential conflict would be hugely beneficial for exchanges to continue to develop.   

Obama's trip to Africa has raised the stakes for new financial innovation on the continent!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Central African Stock Exchange Handbook 2013

The CASE Handbook 2013 is currently having it's book launches in Zimbabwe and Malawi. After that, the 2013 book will be available. Please check out the website for pdf availability!!

This was an interesting year for African Stock Exchanges and continues to be a fascinating year for Central
Africa! This book is a must have guide for investment in the region.

Monday, June 10, 2013

My recent publication

Please check out my book chapter entitled: Towards a Contextualized Appraisal of Securities Regulation in East Africa. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

FINRA calls for conversations

Recently, the Chief Executive if the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (FINRA) is encouraging brokers to explain to clients the risk of bond funds.

This quote from a 5/21/13 Wall Street Journal report:

"In the fixed-income market, for example, many investors are moving to longer-duration or high-yield fixed-income products, Finra Chief Executive Richard Ketchum said in a speech at the regulator's annual conference in Washington, D.C.

While not purporting to have a crystal ball, "it is clear that interest rates have far more room to go up than down and that history would tell us that, in this environment, the quality of non-investment-grade bonds and similar products able to be floated is likely to go down," Mr. Ketchum said. "It's a great time to have conversations with your clients about the risks and possible negative scenarios of concentrated holdings in longer-duration or more speculative fixed-income securities."

I cannot recall, I may be wrong, another instance where the Chief advised brokers how to warn investors.
FINRA regulates brokers. The Chief is advising brokers to explain to investors the difference between owning a bond fund and owning an actually fixed-income investment.

I find it remarkable that this needs to be done at all. I took the Series 7, broker's license, in the late-1980's. I think we needed to know the difference then. Why does this need to be reinforced?? I find that concerning.

The questions it raises are: Is this an effort to stop potential investor complaints?, Is this an effort to provide training and information not previously provided?

It just makes me wonder.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Sovereign Debt Africa

Lots of interesting Sovereign Debt things happening in Africa these days.
Check this out.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

SEC disclosure rule

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is considering a new rule requiring publicly traded
companies to disclose their campaign contributions. There is a great deal of opposition to requiring corporations to disclose political spending. The rule proposal will be released by the end of April. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kiobel decision

The US Supreme Court decided Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell.

The victims sued Royal Dutch in US court for crimes such as torture, killings,
rape and crimes against humanities. They sought access to US Courts under the Alien Tort
Claims Act. The Court held that the statute does not apply extra-territorially.

This is an extraoridnarily limiting decision. The full extent of its limitation is not yet known.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

African Independence

Very interesting documentary that won the 2013 San Diego Black Film Festival, Best Director and Best Documentary.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tanzania business

Please check out the cool stuff happening in Tanzania!

The dar es Salaam Stock Exchange updated it rules .

I heard about his when I was there last summer.
Interesting developments!  

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Here is a link to an article honoring this great Nigerian, writer and human.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Zimbabwe draft Cosntitution and the SADC Tribunal

There is an excellent website that follows Zimbabwe land policy.

The most recent article on the website discusses how the new draft Constitution in
Zimbabwe has responded to the SADC Tribunal ruling regarding land measures by including in
the Constitution language that directly addresses criticisms of the land acquisition policies of the government.

Some detail of interest discussed in the paper:

Chapter 16 Section 72 eliminates rights important to the rule of law, respect for international law,
right to notice or appeal when land is acquired.  

Section 56(5) grants persons the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of color unless it is
'fair, reasonable and justifiable in a democratic society.'

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013 and no Fiscal Cliff !!!

If these US lawyers in Congress were in any of my classes, asking for an extension on homework and handing things in at the last minute, I would FAIL them all. How very irresponsible of the US Government to put all of us through this drama over the potential cliff, when their average salary is $174,000   with benefits. President Obama is as bad as all of them lacking leadership skills and still campaigning instead of getting the work done.

I do not understand why people were not protesting outside the White House over THIS fiscal crisis. Why are Americans so complacent? As a good friend of mine used to say about Zimbabwe, people are just not unhappy enough to revolt.

We are all just happy enough to sit and watch Congress politicize our lives without complaining at all. We have it just good enough to be sheep.

On the continent of Africa, the Egyptian currency is struggling but the EGX seems to be holding steady. I heard the Prime Minister Hisham Qandil speak to the ASEA conference attendees in Cairo about the possibility of Egypt-very hopeful. Currently, he will be resuming talks with the IMF regarding a loan to help the economy. Here in the states we are so far removed from so many important places that we cannot understand the contrast and linkage between protests, voting and progress. It will be fascinating to watch Egypt this year. I really wish that I had opened a trading account while I was there!!    

I have a good deal of hope for 2013.