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Second stock exchange in the offing

Namibia will soon have a second stock exchange if an application before the Registrar of Stock Exchanges is approved.
According to Namfisa spokesperson Isack Hamata, Namfisa CEO Phillip Shiimi, who is also the Registrar of Stock Exchanges, is currently reviewing an application and considering objections to the establishment of the new stock exchange to be known as the Namibia Financial Exchange (NAMFIN-X).
In line with the Stock Exchanges Control, Act 1 of 1985, the registrar has already issued a notice in the local media inviting members of the public to lodge any objections to the issuance of a stock exchange licence to NAMFIN-X.
If the application by NAMFIN-X is approved, Namibia will have two stock exchanges for the first time since the Namibia Stock Exchange (NSX) was established in September 1992. The NSX is currently Africa’s second biggest stock exchange after the JSE in South Africa in terms of market capitalisation courtesy of the dual listed firms.
Hamata told the Economist upon inquiry that the process to grant NAMFIN-X a licence to operate a second stock exchange is ongoing. He said: “The current status is that the Registrar of Stock Exchanges will consider the objections and review the application based on the provisions of the Act as well as the rules and principles of administrative justice.
“The applicable provisions of the Stock Exchanges Control Act 1 of 1985 (Section 8) reads as follows: On the expiry of the period contemplated in section 7(5)(c) (that was the period for objections to be lodged, (in this case 28 June 2013) the Registrar may, after consideration of any objection lodged under that section, issue to the applicant a license to carry on the business of a stock exchange, if (a) the interests of the public would be served by the issue of the license; (b) at least two members of the applicant will carry on the business as buyers and sellers of listed securities independently of and in competition with one another; (c) the applicant has sufficient financial resources for the proper exercise or carrying out the powers and duties conferred upon or assigned to a stock exchange by or under this Act; and (d) the proposed rules of the applicant comply with the requirements of this Act.”
Despite being the second biggest exchange in Africa, the NSX suffers from liquidity challenges, and the country’s capital markets are still developing, raising concerns about the wisdom to have a second stock exchange in the country.
But Hamata said he was not in a position to comment on whether or not it was prudent for the country to have a second stock market.
He added: “The Authority [Namfisa] as an administrative body is only empowered to administer the provisions of the applicable laws of the Republic of Namibia. In this regard, the onus is on the prospective applicant to show cause that the provisions of the laws are satisfied. As to the business case of establishing a second exchange, it is a right of any citizen to make a judgement call whether there is merit in engaging in such a business venture if it is within the ambit of the legislative framework of the Republic of Namibia.”
Efforts to get a comment from NAMFIN-X Director Bonita Rene De Silva, who is an attorney with the Supreme Court, were unsuccessful as her contact number listed with the Registrar of companies went unanswered for days.

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.