News / Africa

    West Africa Stock Exchange Suspends Ivory Coast Trading

    People protest against the European Union in Abidjan, and Ivory Coast cocoa exporters said they feared for their future after presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara said he would extend one-month cocoa export ban if his rival refuses to leave power, Febr
    People protest against the European Union in Abidjan, and Ivory Coast cocoa exporters said they feared for their future after presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara said he would extend one-month cocoa export ban if his rival refuses to leave power, Febr

    West Africa's regional stock exchange has suspended operations in Ivory Coast because of the country's political crisis. It is the latest in a series of financial closures that deepen the economic impact of the standoff between rival presidents.

    The regional bourse [stock exchange] is suspending all operations until further notice at its Abidjan headquarters.

    In a written statement, exchange president Tiemoko Yade Coulibaly strongly protested actions by the Ministry of Finance that he said violate agreements governing the conduct of the regional bourse.

    Soldiers loyal to incumbent Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo last week raided the stock exchange headquarters, in what Gbagbo finance minister Desire Dallo said was a move to prevent the bourse from relocating.

    Sunil Benimadhu, the chief executive of the Mauritius stock exchange and the president of the African Securities Exchanges Association, said, "The closure of any stock exchange is certainly not an event that is welcome by the different stakeholders of the stock exchange, given that people who have invested in a stock exchange want to have the ability to trade in the shares that they have invested in on a daily basis.”

    Benimadhu said that in the absence of adequate security, the directors of the West African bourse had no choice.

    "It is understandable that in an environment where there is no security, exchanges can do no other thing than close while praying for things to stabilize. We hope that things will stabilize and that business will get back to normal in Ivory Coast and that all the political problems will be resolved so that the stock exchange can start operating normally and that business can start doing what they are supposed to do,” said Benimadhu.

    While trading volume had already fallen during this political crisis, the regional bourse was a reminder of the leading role Ivory Coast once played in regional finance, hosting an exchange that listed firms from Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

    Its suspension is the latest financial blow to the Gbagbo government. The regional regulation agency of financial markets in Francophone West Africa moved to Togo after Gbagbo troops occupied its Abidjan offices.  

    West Africa's central bank cut Gbagbo's access to state funds because he is refusing to yield power to the United-Nations-certified winner of the vote, former prime minister Alassane Ouattara.

    The Senegal-based central bank then warned of sanctions against any commercial banks that deal with the Gbagbo government. All branches of Citibank and BNP Paribas closed Monday.

    In a statement read on national television, the Gbagbo government said it is taking legal action against those banks for seeking what it calls the “financial asphyxiation” of Ivory Coast.

    Regional and international sanctions against the Gbagbo government are meant to deprive it of the cash needed to pay soldiers who remain loyal to the incumbent president.

    Banks are limiting withdrawals. Many cash machines are running out of money. There is a shortage of some essential medicines. And the price of cooking gas has more than doubled since November's second-round runoff between Gbagbo and Ouattara.

    You May Like

    Multimedia US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora