Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that improve the performance of the capital markets will stand a better chance of growing their economies faster because such markets act as magnets of diversified financial resources, research by global body for professional accountants ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) released in Nairobi said Thursday.
The money businesses and governments raise from the capital markets is also cheaper that what they would borrow say from the commercial banks
ACCA said capital markets, generally stock exchanges where company shares and government treasury bonds are traded, have become among the favorite avenues of attracting capital from foreign and local investors that governments and business can use to finance expansion of social infrastructure like roads and be used by businesses to expand their operations.
"Capital markets bring in diverse sources of capital which makes the economies resilient. The money businesses and governments raise from the capital markets is also cheaper that what they would borrow say from the commercial banks," said Alvin Chikamba, the Head of Policy for the ACCA in the Sub Sahara Africa.
He said it is because of the vibrant capital markets in countries like Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria that the region has partly been able to withstand the shocks from the debt crisis in Europe.
Currently, more investors from development countries have been shifting some of their money into the emerging markets like those in Sub-Sahara Africa because of relative stability of the financial systems and higher returns.
The research by the ACCA recommends that countries in Sub- Saharan Africa should work towards enabling small and medium scale businesses access opportunities in the capital markets to ensure that as many locals as possible participate in the market.
When more small and medium scale business are listed in the stock market for instance, the likely outcome is that more local investors participate in the market, leading to better utilization of national savings and it encourages those retail investors to use their personal savings for capital market investments.
Kenya is among the first countries in Africa that will set up segments for small and medium scale businesses within their capital markets.
Finance Minister Njeru Githae last week allowed the Capital Markets Authority to go ahead and establish the Growth Enterprise Market Segment (GEMS) at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) that will offer a chance for small and medium scale enterprises to list.