ALT Xchange Ltd (ALTX Uganda) today announced its intention to operate a securities and derivatives market, initially in Uganda, to service the East African region. ALTX Uganda will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mauritius-based ALTX Africa Group Ltd, which will be fully incorporated this month. ALTX also intends to develop a pan African footprint, providing a set of additional operating exchanges to facilitate both trading and clearing across the continent.
The Board of the Capital Markets Authority of Uganda granted approval for ALTX Uganda’s application to operate an exchange in Uganda in March 2014. ALTX is also planning the set-up of a Pan-African clearinghouse and settlement infrastructure in conjunction with local and international partners.
ALTX has signed a partnership agreement with GMEX Technologies (“GMEX”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Markets Exchange Group International LLP (“GMEX Group”). Under the agreement, ALTX will use the GMEX leading edge ForumMatch exchange trading platform, ForumDetect market surveillance system and ForumTrader workstation.
The exchange, initially focussing on Ugandan securities (cash equities and bonds), is expected to go live in Q4 2014. Subsequently it plans to introduce other asset classes, including financial derivatives and commodities, as well as incorporating other African regions. GMEX is also providing ALTX with exchange business and operations expertise.
As part of the agreement, GMEX will also set up a London based routing hub to interconnect with ALTX to help facilitate trading liquidity into Africa. GMEX will also operate the ALTX representative office in London to aid business development.
The founders of ALTX are Jatin Jivram and Joseph S. Kitamirike. Mr. Jivram grew up in the United Kingdom and established his name in Information Technology and Real Estate, moving back to Uganda in the early 2000s to participate in real estate, engineering and transportation businesses. Mr. Kitamirike was, until recently, the CEO of Uganda Securities Exchange and National Housing and Construction Co Ltd.
GMEX Group is also in advanced stage talks to acquire a strategic equity stake in the ALTX Africa Group. GMEX Group stakeholders include Deutsche Börse AG. ALTX is also engaging with a number of potential financial partners with a view to raising additional equity capital given the extensive interest in the initiative.
The securities sector in East Africa is growing steadily and experiencing deep change as a result of goals set by the East African Community Common Market Protocol to create a common market in East Africa. ALTX seeks to take advantage of this protocol to enable further growth in the region.
Liberalisation of the pensions sector in the region has led to an exponential increase in the number of pension fund managers who are open to a wider range of investment avenues. The East African region is also looking to carry out major housing and infrastructure developments, which require long-term funds. The interest rate structure related to such opportunities can be beneficially modified using derivatives available through ALTX leveraging GMEX’s expertise in this space.
“We have the privilege to lead the process of interconnecting Africa’s markets, to open them up to global liquidity and to deliver market opportunities with best-in-class technology provided by GMEX. Our partnership is one we believe could potentially enhance Africa’s economic growth trajectory by easing the flow of capital and increasing the variety of tradable securities and derivatives on offer. ,” said Joseph S. Kitamirike, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ALTX
“This is an exciting partnership with ALTX. The international financial community will have optimised distribution and access to not only the Ugandan capital market but subsequently to other key parts of East Africa and beyond. The partnership also provides ALTX with the infrastructure and business expertise to become the most technically advanced market in Africa, which will help support economic growth across the region.” said Hirander Misra, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of GMEX Group.