Gambia plans to open its first stock exchange to help widen funding options for companies in the West African nation where firms have to rely on borrowings and interest rates of as much as 20%.
(Bloomberg) — Gambia plans to open its first stock exchange to help widen funding options for companies in the West African nation where firms have to rely on borrowings and interest rates of as much as 20%.
The Capital Market of The Gambia will start operations at the central bank to help keep costs low, Paul Mendy, the second deputy governor, said in an email.
“Gambia’s financial architecture has been limited since independence,” Finance Minister Seedy K.M. Keita said in a speech on Sept. 29. “And is unable to meet the financial and economic needs of the country and her citizens, for sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction.”
Gambia joins Ethiopia in planning a stock exchange to tap local and overseas investors. Rising borrowing costs in developed countries have priced many emerging nations out of the international capital markets, requiring them to find other options to raise funds.
“A wider array of financial products needs to be gradually developed by financial institutions,” the World Bank said in a report earlier this year. “The existing product offering consists of traditional lending and savings products that fail to meet the long-term financing needs of local businesses.”
The exchange won’t have a chief executive officer initially, Mendy said. It will be overseen by the heads of Gambia’s Central Securities Depository, Financial Markets Department and Banking Supervision Department, he said.
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