ASEA and CFA Institute sign Memorandum of Understanding to raise standards of education and professionalism in the investment management industry

ASEA and CFA Institute sign Memorandum of Understanding to raise standards of education and professionalism in the investment management industry

Tuesday 20, June, 2016 Lagos, Nigeria: the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) signed a two year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CFA Institute to increase access to the professional education programs and standards of professionalism within the ASEA community’s jurisdictions.

CFA Institute has extended its suite of educational offerings to ASEA member exchanges, regulators, brokerage firms and any other capital market stakeholder within the ASEA member exchanges’ jurisdictions, at discounted rates effective 20 June 2017 as follows:

  1. CFA Institute Investment Foundations™ certificate: the program covers the essentials of finance, ethics, and investment roles, providing a clear understanding of the global investment industry – USD 200 per examination
  2. CFA Program Scholarship: eligible candidates can enroll in the CFA Program to begin earning the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) credential, the most respected and recognized investment management designation in the world – USD 350 per examination
  3. Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement Program (CIPM): for advanced, globally-relevant, and practice-based investment performance and risk evaluation skills which enable professionals to put clients’ interests first – USD 350 per examination
  4. Ethical Decision-Making webinar – free access to an ethical decision-making framework for the highest standards of ethics in the investment profession.

Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON, President of ASEA, welcomed Paul Smith, CFA, President and CEO of CFA Institute, to Nigeria and commented:

“This new partnership with CFA Institute complements our strategic objectives and we are delighted to be working together for the mutual benefit of our organizations, by providing capital markets stakeholders on our continent with the skills and tools they need for sound investment management and ethical practices. The more we promote proficiency and ethics in our markets, the more African markets will be attractive to investors.”

Paul Smith, CFA, President and CEO of CFA Institute commented: “This MoU is our first significant step towards beginning to invest more meaningfully in Africa. By bringing our programs to the ASEA community, we hope to enable employees to train and capacity-build for Africa and contribute to the development of its financial markets.”

For further information on how to participate in these certification programs, please visit the microsite dedicated to ASEA participants.

JSE lists AMI Big50 ETF

JSE Logo

New JSE-listed AMI Big50 ex-SA ETF offers Pan-African investment opportunities

New ETF offers investments across multiple African exchanges

On April 20, 2017 the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed the Big50 Ex-SA ETF to give investors access to a new index that offers a diversified investment of 50 companies across the African continent, excluding South Africa, through 15 African stock exchanges. The ETF is offered by investment firm Cloud Atlas Investing, a Johannesburg based Collective Investment Scheme.

“The JSE is committed to playing a role in the expansion and deepening of Africa’s investment opportunities. This new ETF offers an easy, safe way to invest in African markets and supports the continent’s growth journey,” said Donna Nemer, Director of Capital Markets at the JSE.

ETFs are investments that track the performance of a group or ‘basket’ of shares, bonds or commodities. The Big50 Ex-SA ETF tracks an index that has been designed by Cloud Atlas and which invests across African exchanges in countries such as Egypt, Mauritius, Kenya, Morocco, Tanzania, Nigeria, Tunisia, Botswana, Namibia, Uganda, Ghana and Zimbabwe, as well as the BRVM Exchange in West Africa.

Maurice Madiba, CEO and Founding Director of Cloud Atlas Investing, said, “We want to improve liquidity and help to develop African markets for investors to feel the full robustness of these markets, and as such, have chosen to invest in stocks that are listed on African exchanges. These could include stocks in multinationals that are listed on African exchanges, as well as local African companies.”

ETFs offer tax and cost benefits, and are a suitable investment vehicle for those who are new to the world of stock markets but are also used by institutional investors.

Madiba says that while the AMI Big50 ex-SA ETF offers individual investors an opportunity to invest in diverse African shares, it also provides an opportunity to institutional investors, who are able to invest up to five per cent of a fund’s capital in African investments according to Regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act.

He clarified, “We have received a dispensation from the South African Reserve Bank to offer this ETF to institutional investors according to Regulation 28. We have already opened up the ETF to the retail market, and certainly have plans to bring the institutional investor on board. We believe this ETF is a good product to have for the long-term investor because of its growth prospects, and as such will be of interest to both the individual and the institutional investor. It is important to us that we try to facilitate ways in which Africans can participate in Africa’s growth.”

Nemer noted that ETFs are well-regulated by both the JSE and the Financial Services Board (FSB) and can be acquired, like any other listed share, through a stockbroker or online trading account, or via an investment platform that offers a monthly debit order facility. She added, “Because the Big50 ex-SA ETF is suitable for individual investors as well as institutional investors, it offers a wider opportunity to participate in Africa’s growth. In addition, because it does not invest primarily in South African investments, it offers local investors Rand-hedging opportunities.”

The ETF market has seen steady growth globally as well as in South Africa and this ETF listing brings the total number of ETFs listed on the JSE to 53, with a total ETF market capitalisation of almost R73 billion.

Cloud Atlas ETF listing

Prejelin Naggan, Head of Primary Markets, Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Maurice Madiba, CEO and Founding Director of Cloud Atlas Investing

Capital Markets Africa 2017 Conference

Taking place in Nairobi on May 11 and 12, 2017

Africa’s long-term economic success is intrinsically linked to the successful development of its capital markets, but the challenges are significant.  Strengthening them is essential if Africa is to fulfill its significant potential.  More robust stock and bond markets will further encourage economic growth on the continent but what else needs to be done for countries to expand their capital markets in an ever-changing world?

The event will be chaired by Georgina Baker, IFC’s Deputy Treasurer and the audience will include global and African investors, financial institutions, stock exchanges, regulators and other market participants who will discuss the opportunities and impediments to creating efficient financial markets in Africa