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

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid