Matthews highlights successes as he bows out
Outgoing Chairman of the Namibia Stock Exchange and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nedbank, Lionel Matthews highlighted the NSX successes of 2013, as he drafted his last Chairman’s Report in the NSX annual report. Topping his list are the listing of Bank Windhoek Holdings, the Oryx Properties rights issue, and the growth in assets held by the NSX and its Guarantee Fund, now exceeding N$42 million.
On the overall success of the bourse, Matthews noted “a change, not only in governance, but in the equities trading over the last twelve months with trades values and the income from transaction levies both having increased by 51%.”
According to Matthews, declines were observed in 2011, at which time the board was of the opinion that increased listings and trades would come from pending regulatory and legislative action. Transposing these factors into 2014, Matthews is of the opinion that it would form a significant part of the parliamentary programme that would include a revision of the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA) bill, and a replacement of the 1951 Public Accounts and Auditors Act, amongst others. Other highlights worth mentioning, according to Matthews, are the progress made regarding the introduction of a Central Securities Depository, involvement in the debate on the white paper on local ownership of the commercial banks vis-a-vis the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) and the financial sector charter, and an exceptional investment return despite the Overall Index only increasing 1.3%.
Said Matthews, “Applying best practices in the sphere of corporate governance is paramount to a successful exchange.”
The NSX adopted the King II Code in 2004 as the baseline for all the listed companies. The NSX, according to Matthews, is in the process of drawing up a code of ethics relevant to the Namibian context expected to be released in the current year still. Matthews added that the NSX is committed to deepening the markets in the region by participating in regional forums.
Of concern to Matthews, however, are the dynamics involved in Regulation 28. He said “ the uncertainty of the much discussed modalities of Regulation 28 to the Pension Fund Act, in terms of which each fund must invest 30% (2012 – 35%) in respect of Namibian Assets for dual listed equities of its total fund in Namibian assets, with certain prescriptive minimums and prudential maximums continued.
Listing a series of events that created the confusion, he mentioned a gazette being issued in September 2013 but dated April 2013 and again in January 2014 dated 31 December 2013. “The long-term effect on the NSX on the reduction in the dual listed percentage of assets is impossible to determine as the 30% reduces annually to 10% in 2017.”
Trading in primary listed equities in 2013 only made up 5.6% of the total value of trades.