Nigerian Naira, Kenyan Shilling, Zambian Kwacha Listed On JSE

The Nigerian Naira, Kenyan Shilling and the Zambian Kwacha Friday made their d├ębut on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the largest and most liquid in Africa.

The South African bourse listed the three African currencies on a new foreign exchange Futures platform where they will be quoted against the South African rand.

Analysts say the JSE has for years tried unsuccessfully to market itself as an entry point into African capital markets with sub-Saharan African companies preferring to list in London Stock Exchange against Johannesburg's, because the former is seen as a more prestigious market.

With the listing of the three currencies, JSE said it is offering exposure to African economies in a relatively risk-free manner for foreign and local investors, companies and fund managers doing businesses in the continent.

"The message is simply: hedge your foreign exchange risk on the JSE and go and do your business," Reuters quotes Andrew Gillespie, head of futures at Tradition Futures, which partnered with the JSE and Barclays bank to launch the platform.

"You have fire insurance, theft insurance, insurance against water damage. This is a place to buy FX insurance," he added.

JSE said the currencies will fall under its currency derivatives unit, incepted in 2007, allowing them to be traded with G-10 currencies of developed economies, including the U.S. dollar, euro and British pound.

The platform will also allow participants to trade anonymously, with the JSE assuming the role of credit counterparty to all transactions.