The Uganda Securities Exchange (www.use.or.ug) was set to open the Securities Central Depository at the end of last week. The SCD is an electronic system of keeping traded shares records at the stock market in a single location and would end the issuing of paper certificates as evidence of ownership.
According to the Monitor newspaper (www.monitor.co.ug), the SCD was to “go live” on 18 February, quoting Ms Harriet Kiwanuka, the head of trade, research and market development, USE. The move will prepare the USE for electronic trading of shares and is another step towards link-up in the regional markets, including the advanced Nairobi Stock Exchange.
Stockbrokers are set to ask owners of the paper certificates to return them in exchange of electronic transaction accounts, similar to bank accounts.
Ms Kiwanuka is reported as saying both new paper certificates and electronic accounts will be issued until the USE adopts electronic record keeping and trading.
Mr Peter Okoed, the senior portfolio planner at stockbroker Dyer & Blair (www.dyerandblair.com), is reported in Monitor as saying that the SCD will make the exchange attractive to foreign investors who are usually discouraged to invest by the communication that it takes for them to receive their share certificates.
With this system, investors will only trade their shares after getting electronic accounts.