Investor education and protection, sustainable financing and product diversification in the equity market are among the key issues that emerged during the events to mark the World Investor Week organized by the Uganda Securities Exchange together with other partners from Oct.3 – 9.

     

    Keith Kalyegira, the chief executive officer of the Capital Markets Authority said: “Investor education is a powerful tool against fraud, and is a means of improving financial resilience. A smart investor understands that risk exists in all investments and never invests based solely on a celebrity endorsement.”

     

    Kalyegira added that the various activities being undertaken, such as Twitter Spaces on fraud and asset allocation with the institute of Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) Society East Africa and Uganda Securities Exchange World Investor Week meetings will go a long way in empowering local investors.

    He pointed out that the CMA has taken note of individuals or firms holding out as investment advisers and fund managers, as well as pyramid schemes operating physically and through online platforms, which seek to take cash deposits from unsuspecting members of the public with a promise of exceptional investment returns. He urged the Ugandan public to always seek investment advice from only licensed firms.

     

    “It is therefore imperative that before making the decision to invest, one seeks sufficient investment advice from a licensed intermediary,” Kalyegira said.

     

    Other speakers equally had a lot to say especially in the virgin area of ‘sustainability’ and gender aspects of business. Speaking at the Women Investment Breakfast

     

    Meeting held on Oct.05 in Kampala – one of the events for investor week, Cathy Adengo, the head of sustainability at Stanbic Bank said, women led enterprises should fast think and devise strategies to respond to the sustainability function to be able to attract funding and related support.

     

    Sustainability, according to the experts, is about environmental, social and corporate governance practices that businesses put in place and implement to positively impact communities in which they operate.

     

    Adengo said, through the Stanbic Business Incubator Limited, one of the subsidiaries of Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited, her organization supports businesses through training in business related skills to ensure they operate in a sustainable manner. She said, approx.50% of the beneficiaries are females on an annual basis.

     

    “Some people do not know how to go about human relations and simple business tools to run their businesses sustainably and have social impact.” Adengo said. She urged the business community not to tire to approach Stanbic for any support related to growing their business. “We have 200 SME bankers waiting to attend to your inquiries; once you are sustainable, we too shall equally be so,” she added.

     
    Market opportunities

    Paul Muganwa, the head corporate and investment banking at Stanbic Bank exposed market opportunities for businesses during a panel discussion at the Chief Executive Officer and  Chief Finance Officer Round Table Meeting.

     

    “There is a lot of liquidity in the market to tap into as long as businesses get their Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) ethos right,” he said.

     

    Muganwa added that businesses that make good decisions on ESG at all levels paves way for them to post good results.

     

    He also said, there is need to equip groups like Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) and other saving groups with knowledge and skills of finance management and related skills to ensure that they align with the ESG needs and operate sustainably.

     

    Paul Bwiso, the chief executive officer at Uganda Securities Exchange, said investment is about taking advantage of opportunities in the market and that creating investment awareness is key for good decision making.

     

    He said good performing companies are those that have ensured gender inclusivity in their management and staff structure.

     

    “Doing the right thing and working together delivers good performance,” he said. He said, the USE had started, among other things to work on investor education materials in local dialects as one avenue to interest more people to become investors on the stock market.

     

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