Uganda Securities Exchange launches online self-service portal

The Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) on Tuesday launched an online self-service portal, Easy Portal, from which investors can view stock performance and monitor their investment portfolios.

All investors – individual and other entities – registered with the Securities Central Depository System (SCD) can open accounts on the online portal. “The portal will provide an option for investors to take charge of their portfolio by personally monitoring their accounts,” the bourse chief Paul Bwiso said on Tuesday.

Uganda has seven stock brokerage firms, which have been in charge of all the information on the movement on the stock exchange. However, now investors no longer have to rely on their stockbrokers for information and can directly access it on the portal.

The USE said that the portal will be used to view stock performance, monitor account balance and view statements.

It appears that although rolled out, the Kampala-based bourse is still refining the system. The portal advises investors to request a hard record of their statements “in event of doubt” because “although great care is taken to update the online system, it may lag behind the Securities Central Depository System under certain circumstances.”

The exchange however does not have a lot of movement, registering some lukewarm trading days. On Friday, for example, it traded only UgShs 6,000,000 on one counter (Uganda Clays Ltd).

It remains to be seen if access to information through the portal will increase activity on the exchange. One of the targets of the online system are investors abroad. “Ugandans in the Diaspora can now monitor their investment portfolios online,” Bwiso said.

The 24-hour service will also provide an IPO application service for existing investors to participate in public offers.

At the moment, the service is provided at no charge but the exchange says “in the future a subscription fee may be levied for it.”