Local Business

Business opportunities in Swaziland discussed

(Staff Report)
Filed on September 1, 2012

DUBAI Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini, Prime Minister of Swaziland, and the ambassador to the UAE, Mlondi Dlamini, met in Dubai with Pride Group, headed by Shaikha Moaza Obaid Suhail Al Maktoom, to discuss investments and business opportunities in Swaziland and the African region.

The group is in the preliminary stages of setting up and implementing a new commodity futures exchange in Swaziland. They also discussed Pride’s proposed operation of Swaziland’s stock exchange.

The group also thanked the prime minister for recently receiving in Swaziland the delegation headed by Richard J. Kapsch, a former governor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and consultant specialising in the commodity exchange domain, Aboobacker, Pride Group Managing Director, and Ajmal Khan, head of legal and compliance for Pride Group. The delegation met with the finance minister, agriculture minister and representatives from the Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA) earlier this month.

Pride Group is an international consortium of companies, headquartered in Dubai, and operating out of Chicago, London, Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur and Panama. The group has interests in multiple areas, including commodity exchanges, financial services, hospitality, real estate development, health care, education, information technology and manufacturing.

The proposed commodity futures exchange, entitled the African Mercantile Exchange, will be an all-electronic exchange, accessible to traders via the Internet. It will also connect to other regional exchanges run by Pride Group to enable better price discover and transparency.

It will provide a number of additional economic benefits to the Swaziland economy and the region, first and foremost of which is the creation of hundreds of jobs for the locals. It will also provide improved price discovery for the agricultural sector as well as a means for producers and users of commodities to manage the risk caused by extreme fluctuations in commodity prices.

As part of the exchange’s development, Swaziland’s warehouse system will be upgraded and a system of warehouse receipts will be introduced. Farmers and other commodity producers may then use these receipts as collateral for bank loans. The exchange is slated to begin operation in the first quarter of 2013.

Pride Group offers a one-stop solution to the Swazi prime minister, bringing a total technology solution for both exchanges, PC-and mobile-based platforms for clients — back office management, treasury management and warehouse control among other features.

For the stock exchange the group will bring a complete, cost-effective online system from order matching to depository receipts for shares and online banking transaction for settlements along with client trading platforms. Pride Group will furnish complete training of locals along with other data centre infrastructure.


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