Ethiopia Kicks Off a Milestone Capital Raise for Securities Exchange

May 16 , 2023

The Ethiopian Securities Exchange (ESX), the country's first stock exchange, has commenced its capital raise, marking a significant step in Ethiopia's financial history. The launch event, named "market sounding and capital raises short roadshow," was held at the Sheraton today, attended by a host of executives from banks and corporate entities, including Abie Sanu, president of the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). Ahmed Shedie, minister of Finance, presided over the proceedings.

An important stakeholder in this venture is Ethiopian Investment Holdings (EIH), a sovereign fund with a sizeable portfolio of state-owned companies valued at 38 billion dollars. EIH has plans to secure a 25pc stake in the ESX, which is expected to be fully operational within a year. The remaining shares will be offered to the private sector, according to officials associated with the project.

The ESX has been designed as a multi-faceted platform for trading equities, financial and debt securities, derivatives, and foreign exchange contracts. Upon its launch, it is also expected to provide a platform for stockbrokers, fund managers, and investment advisors to expand their operations and offer new services.

Officials of the Exchange have signalled that the EIH's ownership stake might be recalibrated based on the participation and demand from the private sector. They have expressed their anticipation for the domestic financial sector to play an active role in this new financial platform.

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