FIMDA eyes more innovations in export trade

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Financial Markets Dealers Association (FIMDA) whose main objective is to promote and protect the interest of the dealers in the exercise of their business in financial markets operations, is set to hold its annual conference scheduled for October 11 -13 in Mangochi. Patricia HAMISI is FIMDA’s President and here she articulates key issues ahead of the conference in this interview with MBC Online. Excerpts:

Patricia Hamisi, President of FIMDA Patricia Hamisi, President of FIMDA

Q: To the layman how would you describe FIMDA and its roles on the market?


A: FIMDA is an organization representing market dealers / traders from licensed financial institutions


As such, the association draws its organisational membership from the licensed financial institutions, and its individual membership from foreign exchange market, money market and capital market dealers who are primarily employees for these organizations.


Its main objective is to promote and protect the interest of the dealers in the exercise of their business in financial markets operations. As such, this is achieved through the following and many other objectives;


• Formulating and maintaining standards of conduct for members and to encourage honourable professional and ethical practice in financial market dealings.

• Collaborating as appropriate with Government and other regulatory bodies in formulating policies on monetary issues, and in carrying out financial market functions.

• Facilitating training and development of dealers and its members.

• Acting as an intermediary between financial market players and regulators including the central bank.

• Provides a fora where participants are able to interact, learn from experts and share ideas on how to create a more vibrant financial market.

• Resolving disputes between market players.


Q: You have been at the helm of (FIMDA) for the past year; tell us what has been the experience?


A: It’s been quite an exciting and busy one year. We have had so many developments involving the regulators in the financial markets which called for FIMDA’s involvement in most cases.

Q: What other notable developments occurred in the year relevant for action by FIMDA?


A: We have developments in both the foreign exchange and money markets which FIMDA has been actively part of.


You will recall that this year we had quite a steep depreciation of the foreign currency in the 1st half of the year and also the reference rate for lending was introduced around the same time. FIMDA and other market representative institutions have been on the forefront facilitating the conversations between the central bank and commercial banks to ensure smooth operations and transition to avoid disrupting the market.


We also had deliberate efforts through the financial markets committee under Bankers Association of Malawi (BAM) in trying to deepen our market through introduction of foreign exchange interbank trading which has now been implemented and secondary market for Government securities trading which is in its final stages.


Q: In an ideal situation what was supposed to happen in terms of professional development of the members in the ending year from the last conference?


A: We engaged several facilitators and have identified a few that we will work with in the first quarter of 2019 to deliver the intended trainings. From there we will look at implementing mandatory certifications for this market as was done for the forex market. All this is in a bid to ensure that our members are well qualified and can be recognized even on the international market and also for them to be able to operate effectively and efficiently.


Delegates to the 2018 FIMDA annual conference


Q: As we inch towards this year’s conference, at what stage are the preparations?


A: We have had smooth planning and all is set. Conference is scheduled for October 11-13, 2019. We have been lucky to have had financial sponsorship towards the lakeshore conference from Standard Bank, FDH Bank and National Bank. This is in addition to our long time sponsors, Refinitiv (Formerly Thomson Reuters) who have been sponsoring FIMDA’s annual conference with branded T-Shirts for the past 5 years.


Q: How unique will be FIMDA’s conference this year?


A: This year's conference looks at how the financial market can innovate to leverage on and promote the export market. As such, this conference is guided by such focus on export market and its trickle-down effect on the economy at large.


Apart from the presentations, we will also have a panel discussion which will be guided by the topic “Addressing Malawi’s trade deficit - Promoting and diversifying exports” and will be facilitated by William Matambo, the managing director for export development Fund.


In addition, we are also planning to give back to the community and have identified Open Arms Orphan Homes which is currently housing 26 infants between 0 to 4 years old as our partner for this year’s CSR event, our first CSR activity in over 7 years as FIMDA.


Q: Who are some of the key speakers for this year’s conference?


A: Some key note speakers will include: Honourable Joseph Mwanamvekha - Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development; William Matambo – Chief Executive Officer; Export Development Fund and Manoj Naran Dullabh, - Customer Success Manager and Proposition Specialist – Refinitiv Africa; (Formerly Thomson Reuters).

Q: Were there action points agreed during last year’s conference and what has been the progress if any?


A: We focused on developing and deepening the Financial Markets which has progressed quite well as stated above. We also focused on getting FIMDA affiliated to ACI Africa and we are happy to report that we should be doing just that effective January 2020.


Since we have majority of the dealers who qualified for ACI, our main focus is now on trainings and certifications for capital market dealers and on fixed income. We are hopeful that by end of 2020 the trainings will have all been conducted and certifications in place.


Q: If you are continuing as President for FIMDA what else have you lined up in the coming years?


A: My term ends next year, October 2020 when we will have fresh elections.


As part of the long term plan, the current executive’s target continues to be market development. We would want to have a deepened market with more financial market products.


To achieve that, we need well trained dealers hence our short term objectives are concentrating on the training and development of both front office (trading) and back office (settlement) personnel.


In addition, we are looking at wider inclusion of all licensed financial institutions.


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