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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid