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Trade shares, bonds on your phone

By Samuel Sanya

July. 07, 2020

Due to curfew, lockdown and other restrictions on movement that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to Uganda, USE has opened a portal at scd.use.or.ug to ease buying and selling of company shares and bonds.
BUSINESS SHARES
It has become easier to own a slice of Stanbic Bank, Uganda's leading daily - the New Vision, Umeme and any of the 17 listed companies on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) with the launch of web-based account opening.
Hitherto, Ugandans that wanted to purchase shares had to make the painstaking journey to the premises of a broker. That's in the past now.
Due to curfew, lockdown and other restrictions on movement that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to Uganda, USE has opened a portal at
to ease buying and selling of company shares and bonds.
scd.use.or.ug
Ugandans who want to invest as little as sh1,000 can now use their national ID to register for investor accounts and get on to the investment journey.
At the moment, there are about 37,000 investor accounts of which 4,000 are institutional; however, USE has now set its sights on hitting 200,000 accounts with this innovation.
"Investors will be able to place orders with brokers directly and this ensures that trading is done more efficiently. Right now, it can take no more 48 hours to open an account to start trading. We believe that this will increase the number of investors," Paul Bwiso, USE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said.
He pointed out that settlement options such as mobile money, banks and other financial service providers will be added to the portal in phase two which will be around October.
In the meantime, investors will wire money to licensed brokers who will then effect the trading of financial instruments on behalf of the investors.
Bwiso revealed that the market capitalization or total value of USE had dropped by sh6 trillion to sh18 trillion due to an exodus of offshore investors during the coronavirus pandemic. The latest move means that USE is looking closer to home to revive its fortunes.
"We believe this will simplify future Initial Public Offers (IPOs) and activate the existing investors to participate more often in the Market. In terms of Business, it is too early to tell considering the current circumstances (Impact of COVID-19)," he said.
"We believe there will be opportunities mainly in the fixed income space as businesses that require long term patient capital are able to issue corporate bonds. Regarding IPOs, COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges among the prospects for IPOs," Bwiso pointed out.
Bob Musinguzi, the Securities Central Depository (SCD) manager said that the web portal will soon be turned into a mobile-based application. He noted that the web portal comes with a complaint handling mechanism to arbitrate any disputes that may occur.
Meanwhile, there were six active counters on USE on Monday. The counters collectively traded shares worth sh6.3m. Active counters included; Baroda, quality chemicals, NIC, New Vision, Stanbic and Umeme.
The all-share index marginally dropped to 1335.36 from 1335.4 while the local share index stayed at 339.82 for two days running.
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