Small Stock Markets in a Globalized World

Globalization means the unavoidable transformation of nations, businesses, and individuals--in Africa no less than anywhere else in the world. All must adapt, and stock exchanges are no exception.

As technological advances in information technology combine with de-regulation and globalization to fuel growing competition, the world's securities markets are being forced to update, consolidate, and expand their activities, and to rationalize their governance structures in order to become more cost efficient, transparent, and accountable.

Emerging markets, like those on the African continent, including the two leaders South Africa and Egypt, have no choice but to follow the lead of the global securities industry, because globalization has changed stock exchanges' traditional role.

The internet and computer-based trading have shattered geographic boundaries and revolutionized investment, not only by opening up new avenues for trading, but by democratizing access to information that was once the exclusive preserve of professional investors. However large or small, whether in a Cairo internet café or a New York office, today's investors demand, and increasingly get, instant information and immediate execution of trades.