Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, yesterday said the stock market would introduce new products to target more investors in 2020.
Reviewing the performance of the market in 2019 and projecting outlook for 2020, Onyema said in Lagos that efforts would be made to increase the number of investors in the market.
He expressed optimism that the stock market will perform better in 2020, saying the exchange would leverage its vast network of stakeholders and develop new strategic partnerships with the goal of delivering better products and services.
According to him, out of a population of 200 million, only five million invest in the stock market at the moment.
He added that apart from new products and services aimed at attracting more investors that being introduced, enlightenment and education would be intensified to ensure more people patronise the market.
He said the market had bright prospects, stressing that market sentiments may be buoyed by a steady and stable recovery in the domestic economy, alongside continued sustainability in monetary policy.
“The signing into law of Nigeria’s Finance Bill 2019 and implementation of the 2020 budget may have a positive impact on companies’ earnings as well as consumer spending. Accordingly, the exchange will continue to advocate for business-friendly economic environment, working in conjunction with both the public and private sectors,” he stated.
The NSE boss noted that in the aspiration to become a more agile and demutualised exchange, and pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s ‘No Objection’, NSE would, among other steps, seek formal approval from members on the demutualisation scheme.
“We are committed to continually provide clarity on the demutualisation process to our various stakeholders through regular engagements. While keeping an eye on the strategic intent of the exchange post demutualisation, we will continue to leverage our vast network of stakeholders, in addition to developing new strategic partnerships with the goal of delivering better products and services to our customers. As African champions, we will maintain momentum in executing the NSE’s 2018 – 2021 Corporate Strategy in our efforts to elevate the prominence of Africa’s global financial markets,” he said.
Speaking on some of factors that will drive investors’ sentiments in 2020, Onyema said a stable polity and business environment would be key to Nigeria’s success.
“Enhanced focus on infrastructure renaissance and promotion of laws that will support the business environment will be key to Nigeria’s success in 2020. “Nigeria moved 15 places from 146th to 131st in the latest World Bank ease of doing business report as such the country has been tagged as one of the most improved economies in the world in terms of doing business reforms. These are positive indicators that will drive investors’ sentiment in 2020,” he added.
Reviewing market performance in 2019, Onyema said the Nigerian stock market, which declined 14.6 per cent, mirrored the performance of the larger economy, which continued its moderate path of recovery, growing by 2.28 per cent.
He said: “From an international investor’s perspective, the Nigerian bourse had to compete with developed and emerging capital markets which saw risk-based assets priced and valued more competitively. Capital conducive United States Fed policy enabled foreign investors to economically enhance leverage and seek investment opportunities in their home and adjacent countries, as Africa’s largest economy adjusted to new economic realities. On the domestic front, investors contended with the macroeconomic landscape; fiscal and monetary policy direction and a wait-and see attitude given trends in foreign portfolio investors(FPIs).
“Despite challenges faced, we continued to execute on the NSE’s 2018 – 2021 Corporate Strategy, geared towards enhancing the customer experience across the value chain; reorganisation for success and capitalising on mission critical strategic initiatives. During the year, we continued to enhance our product portfolio, orchestrated groundbreaking investment forums and listed some of Africa’s largest companies.”