24 June 2012
Global accountants' professional body on Thursday welcomed the new move by the Kenyan government to open up the capital markets for small and medium sized enterprises (SME) to raise expansion capital.
The move, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) noted, is in line with recommendations the organization has in its new research reports on emerging capital markets.
Speaking in Nairobi ahead of the first ACCA Global Governing Council meeting in Nairobi, CEO Helen Brand said the capital markets are increasingly playing an important role in promoting robust economic activity.
"Emerging capital markets such as Kenya's are clearly an increasingly important source of finance to business and we expect the decision to create this new segment to spur further activity in the securities exchange," she told journalists in Nairobi.
Finance Minister Robinson Githae said in his financial estimates presented in Parliament last week that the Nairobi Securities Exchange would from this year have a Growth Enterprises Market Segment (GEMS), a middle capital market segment targeting SMEs. Brand pointed out deepening and strengthening of the capital markets as sources of finance for fuelling business growth has implications on the SMEs to work on strengthening their boards.
"Broadening participation in company ownership, especially where the needs of minority shareholders are concerned, requires clear corporate governance responsiveness to the many needs of investors, consideration of independent representation on the company board and transparency of decision making," Brand said. She said the government's move would need to be accompanied by broadening landscape of corporate disclosures and reporting including environmental, social and governance information.
This shift, she noted, would also have to be championed by policymarkers and the accountancy profession.
"The resulting complexity in capital market structures leads to a need for increasingly sophisticated financial management, which means that finance functions have to rise to the challenge and play a more central role in governance, risk and compliance, alongside financial reporting and management accounting," she said.
Report from AllAfica at http://allafrica.com/stories/201206230380.html