Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) is changing trading patterns to protect the market from volatility and speculative trading as coronavirus risks continue to mount globally, the local shares market announced on Tuesday.
In a statement, MSE said it has put in place a comprehensive business continuity plan to counter risks of the Covid-19 on trading.
Reads the statement in part: “Having due regard for the need to ensure continuity of operations at the stock exchange as well as the need to comply with measures taken by the Ministry of Health, MSE has taken measures, among others, that listed companies planning on holding annual general meetings [AGMs] or other shareholder engagement activities should ensure they comply with current order on gathering or consider postponement to a later date in consultation with all relevant regulatory authorities.”
MSE said stakeholders are also advised to make electronic submissions of documents as the exchange will not be accepting hard copies until further notice, adding that in person meetings have been suspended forthwith.
In an interview on Monday, MSE chief executive officer John Kamanga said in case of a lockdown, the exchange and its market players will still operate normally through remote access of the trading systems.
Stockbrokers Malawi Limited chief executive officer Noel Kadzakumanja in an interview described the move as a relief to players on the local shares market.
“This is an assurance to all players that we will still continue to operate. However, we still see some transactions that may not be possible. But on our part, we are also working and looking at ways to complement the MSE should things worsen in order to ensure the market is operational,” he said.
Minority Shareholders secretary general Frank Harawa said it is good that the MSE is thinking and working towards ensuring a vibrant market but feared company performance especially in tourism would be affected amid the crisis ; hence, affecting their profitability. This far the virus has rapidly spread from China to Europe and the United States of America, and recently it has been reported in 45 African countries as of March 30 2020.