Shilling, cedi, kwacha in new benchmark system

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The Thomson Reuters Benchmark Services Limited will operate the Kenyan shilling, Zambian kwacha and Ghana cedi currency benchmarks by moving from the traditional telephone-based system to a more automated one.

“These three global-standard benchmarks are integral to the development of three of Africa’s most exciting economies,” Sneha Shah, head of financial and risk for Africa at Thomson Reuters, said in a statement.

Although Zambia, compared to Kenya and Ghana, has a significantly smaller gross domestic product (GDP), its GDP growth projection by the World Bank has been pinned at seven per cent for 2014, much higher than Kenya’s and Ghana’s at five per cent each. The three nations are nonetheless a handful of the continent’s rising economies.

(READ MORE: The African growth story to gain more chapters)

“Of the key benchmarks globally for which we are the official calculator, 22 are on the African continent. Now there are 25, contributing to the seamless and efficient flow of currencies among the African countries and their global trading partners,” Shah explained.

“Kenya is the major trading hub for East Africa, Ghana is growing in the West and Zambia is a country to watch in the South with exciting developments in its commodities and derivatives markets.”

(READ MORE: Zambia on path of recovery)

According to Thomson Reuters, there will be a three stage transition process from manual reporting and quote-driven methodology to the new state-of-the-art process.

“The second stage begins in August with automated collection of data from the 10 most active contributors to the rates and semi-automated submissions from others. Thomson Reuters will then launch an open consultation on the possible use of transaction data in a subsequent phase,” Thomson Reuters explained.