USE gets new chief executive

Friday February 20 2015

Mr Paul Bwiso, the new

Mr Paul Bwiso, the new USE chief executive officer. Photo by Mark Keith Muhumuza 

By Mark Keith Muhumuza

Kampala- After more than a year of sourcing, the governing council of the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) has appointed Mr Paul Bwiso as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Mr Bwiso, who admits his love for reading and playing basketball, is not new to the USE.

For the last six years, he has been the general manager, Dyer and Blair Investment Bank of Uganda, a member of the USE. He was also a member of the USE governing council.

“My plan is to correct the way we have been doing things,” Mr Bwiso told Daily Monitor in an interview.

“We know the problem with the way things have been done. We shall review some of regulations in order to open up the market,” he added.

Mr Bwiso joins the Exchange at least more than two years since the last Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Activity on the market has also been dominated by two companies, Umeme and Stanbic Bank. Additionally, it is not easy for someone to exit the market at will.

“My top priorities will be to demutualise the stock exchange and then by July, we should be fully automated,” he added.

According to Investopedia, demutilisation is when members agree to attract shareholders in the ownership. Brokerage firms currently own and manage the stock exchange in Uganda. In making the decision to have shareholders, Bwiso believes this will make the market more efficient.

He admits the market has struggled to attract more listings yet companies out there are seeking to raise money. “We’ll have to sell the potential of the Main Market Segment, Growth Enterprise Market Segment and Corporate Bonds. In about 18 months, if we can fix the system here, then I see about seven listing,” he said.
The USE now has competition, ALTX Uganda. However, the new CEO does not see ALTX Uganda as a threat to the USE but admits “they were only putting us on the edge but I believe we are in a stronger position.”

He is the third CEO of the USE since its inception 18 years ago. Previous CEOs Mr. Samuel Rutega and Mr. Joseph Kitamirike all talked tough on attracting new listings, more Ugandans to participate and automate the exchange. His deliverables are much higher.

“There is no excuse for us to fail this time,” Bwiso emphasises.

According to the 2014/15 national Budget speech, there are 40,000 registered shareholders in Uganda. The challenge for the capital markets has been attracting more Ugandans to buy, sale or even raise money.

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