Khartoum bourse launches electronic trade

Sun Jan 8, 2012 11:17am EST
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By Ulf Laessing

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - The Khartoum stock exchange on Sunday launched a long-awaited computer trading system that will bring to an end an era of scribbling stock prices on white boards and also marks Sudan's efforts to attract more investment.

But very thin trading in the first session of the electronic system -- a gift from Oman -- highlighted the need to overhaul regulations and transparency.

None of the 40 stocks listed on the display in the new trading room moved in the first 45 minutes. Trading focused as always on government-issued Islamic bonds, known as shahamas, which changed hands for 114,036 Sudanese pounds ($38,000).

"I think the new electronic system will improve transparency and provide more information so volumes will rise much," said Taha Hussein Yousif, General Manager at local broker HH Stock Exchange Co.

"But we also need more regulation and information on companies. We need a new security law," he said.

He said there was interest in large firms such as telecoms Sudatel SDTL.AD or Islamic banks such as Faisal Islamic Bank but with little corporate information on other firms overall liquidity was thin.

Altayeb Musawi Shaigoog, legal expert at the Muscat partner bourse, said the new system was a big step forward to give access to other exchanges and allow more cross listings.

"They now need to develop regulations, the primary market with IPOs and have solid companies," he said.   Continued...