By Duncan Mlanjira
In its earnest campaign to demystify that investment in the capital market is not just for the elite business persons but for every citizen wishing to venture into this financial territory, the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) is on a campaign to market its services by engaging young students in secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
This was disclosed during a virtual media conference that MSE organized under the topic ‘Raising capital through the Malawi Stock Exchange’ done on Monday, August 24 and sponsored by Old Mutual Investment Group.
The discussion involved major media houses and the panelists were prominent industry specialists from the financial services sector — the MSE itself, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), Standard Bank and Cedar Capital.
MSE CEO John Kamanga explained that, through their financial literacy campaign, they have visited both public and private tertiary institutions as well as secondary schools, some of whose students have been invited to witness capital market trading.
“This is all to educate the populace and demystify that capital market is not just for the elite but for everyone in the rural areas to participate,” he said.
“We have also time and again engaged the media in capital market in cognizance that they play a huge role in reaching out to the masses both in urban and the rural.
“Through the business journalist association we have had several interactive sessions for them to fully understand capital market so that they are well conversant and can be able to easily disseminate it to the common people.”
Kamanga added that they want to extend the financial literacy through automated platforms just like Airtel Malawi did when it advertised its Initial Public Offer (IPO) through mobile phones SMS services and that customers could buy shares using Airtel Money.
“It was impressive that some customer from the rural areas were able to buy shares in Airtel after being well informed on how beneficial it is to invest in capital market.
“We want to reach a stage where potential investors, even the existing ones, should not be physically visiting our offices or those of the other capital market service providers but to just do business at their convenience.”
Kamanga said MSE’s performance is fairing well in the region as it is rated mid tier on the international counters.
He added that it has been a good year for the capital market as three companies — ICON Properties, Airtel and FDH Bank recently listed on MSE.
MSE was also represented by Kelline Kanyangala; RBM by Franklyn Khoza from Financial Markets and Principal Examiner, Trades and Markets Rhoda Tembo; Cedar Capital by its CEO Armstrong Kamphoni and Standard Bank by Head of Investment Banking, Enock Kondowe.
They spoke on general overview of the financial markets in Malawi, what progress have been made in the last few years and what initiatives being planned at the Reserve Bank to develop the country’s financial markets.
During the listing process, MSE works closely with the Reserve Bank, which is the Registrar of Financial Institutions to ensure investors’ interests are protected before an IPO is marketed.
Standard Bank and Cedar spoke on the role that is played by the private sector in developing the financial markets.