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Welcome to TC Daily! Today’s digest examines what Zimbabwe Stock Exchange’s new direct trading platform and Kenya’s diaspora investment fund mean for everyday people. Also, we talk about the money Nigerian-based Rack Centre just got for expansion.
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STOCK TRADING FOR THE MASSES
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has launched a direct trading platform that allows everyday people to invest.
Breaking it down: This means that anyone from the comfort of their home can now buy and own a piece of Econet Zimbabwe Wireless, for example, if there’s a seller. Econet is currently worth about $12 billion.
This news reminds me of that time Ghanaians were able to buy MTN shares using mobile money.
Big deal? Buying stocks can seem super complicated especially if you use brokers. I bought some shares during my university days through a group of students who were brokers. It’s been more than 9 years and although it wasn’t a lot of money, I am not sure what happened to my shares.
The ZSE platform is expected to make it easy to buy and track your shares similar to many investment & wealth management apps today. In Zimbabwe, ZSE isn’t the first to offer a direct trading solution although one user claims its user interface is better. Also, it gives people an alternative to C-Trade, the only other major option.
According to TechZim, ZSE said it created the platform based on a survey that showed that not many of its residents were buying shares. Survey respondents said the process was too complicated and that they didn’t fully understand why they should buy shares. Only 7,000 out of 14 million Zimbabweans owned shares in 2018.
More importantly; Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic crisis in more than a decade. Its annualized inflation is approaching 1000%. Poverty is also rising in the country. Extreme poverty in 2019 is estimated to have doubled its level in 2011.
Investment options such as stocks are one way to make money over a long period of time. But one question might be; how will people get the money to invest? Also, making money from
stocks requires some degree of specialized knowledge.
Kenya unveils first diaspora investment fund
The gist: The Kenyan Capital Markets Authority has granted the first licence of its kind for a diaspora fund to an investment firm called the African Diaspora Asset Managers (ADAM).
What this meansis
that Kenyans in the diaspora can invest locally for as low as $5. They will be able to make payments via a mobile app using M-Pesa, Kenya’s most popular mobile money platform.
Why is this news? Remittances are a big deal in Kenya and many African nations. They are a major source of income for many families as well as the African economy. Last year, Kenyans living mostly in North America and Europe sent $3 billion home, its biggest source of foreign exchange.
This means that they now have additional investment options. Also, a regulator-backed option will put their minds at rest, void of the fear
According to Susan Muigai, ADAM’s head of global business development, investors will be able to “check their investment balances and sell their units using VISA cards, bank accounts and MPESA.”
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Rack Centre announces $100m expansion to create West Africa’s largest data centre.
What’s this? The gist is that they have gotten some money to increase their capacity to serve their clients. Their clients are typically big tech companies or organizations who have a large customer base or data.
They got the money from a $250 million fund, focused on data centres, that was established by Actis and Convergence Partner. Actis previously invested in Rack Centre in March.
So? Well, for one, data centres are where the media (e.g. videos, music) we consume on the internet are stored. As more internet companies like Netflix launch in African markets, using local data centres such as Rack Centre
and MainOne means that your videos could load faster because they are closer to you.
Many big tech companies are already opening data centres in Africa. Amazon Web Services opened its first-ever African data centre last year, likewise Microsoft Azure. Investors such as Actis are anticipating a rise in the demand for data and cloud services in Africa.
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