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SEC is addressing retail investors’ concern — Gwarzo

By Nkiruka Nnorom

The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo, has said that the Commission is addressing some  of the issues that led to retail investors’ apathy in the capital market.

He spoke at a workshop  in Lagos at the weekend.

He noted that retail investors will return to the market once their concerns are properly addressed.”We want to address concerns of retail investors before we start wooing them into the market,” he said.

According to him, the Commission has inaugurated the board of Investors Protection Fund (IPF) and from next year, proceeds of shares sale will be paid directly into the investors’ account as part of efforts to address  investors concerns.

Gwarzo, who reiterated that dematerialisation is very important to the growth of the market, hinted that by 2016 more shares would be dematerialised.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, who spoke on the workshop theme, “Effective Reporting of Changes in the Nigerian Capital Market,” said retail investors need to be educated on why they should take portfolio approach to investment.

He said, “It is important to do the analysis, understand where those opportunities are but certainly there are opportunities, not only in the equity side but across the various asset classes. We always advise investors to diversify their portfolios across different assets classes to mitigate risks.”

Oscar, who said that good corporate governance will ensure emergence of solid companies, noted that forcing companies to list may lead to infractions in the market. He stated that a lot of energy has been spent building the foundation of the market in terms of transparency, orderliness, fairness, disclosure, and more importantly how enforcement of rules and regulations are carried out.

“In the short term, you will see the huge volatility but that should not distract from those fundamental elements about good companies, making good money, running under a well governed Exchange structure and a well regulated market structure. These factors will combine to shore up investors’ confidence in these challenging times.

“As we continue to work towards achieving and sustaining this market, the importance of your role cannot be over emphasized. Financial journalists have the potential to influence investors’ behaviour. Negative reporting may result in sensationalism and put additional pressures that can force investors’ decisions negatively,” he added.

Earlier, CAMCAN president, Mr. Goddy Egene, commended the regulators for attending the workshop, saying that in the last two years, a lot of changes have occurred in the market and there is need for cooperation among the stakeholders for the progress of the market.


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