By Nkiruka Nnorom
Worried by the heightened bear run on equities the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, is set to initiate new measures that will favourably change the fortune of the stock market.
This was disclosed by the NSE’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Oscar Onyema, speaking at the NSE and London Stock Exchange (LSE) Dual Listing Conference in Lagos, where he said that the exchange would increase market making advocacy for this purpose.
Onyema stated: “It is my strong belief that one of the things that Nigeria (and Africa) needs to sustain its growth is a solid and vibrant capital market ecosystem that will attract investment and unlock the potential that exists in the economy. Just yesterday, (Thursday, May 31) the NSE All Share Index (ASI) witnessed a reversal of all the gains made in 2018 and is currently down 0.36 percent. Since the market is a leading indicator, we cannot take our eyes off the ball and must continue to press for positive catalysts that will propel the economy to new heights.”
Speaking further, he said that the decent rally witnessed in the market prior to the downtrend was a result of the engagement with government and other efforts by the NSE to deepen the market.
Reflecting on the economic environment that should define the stock market, Onyema said, “The Nigerian economy exited recession with a marginal growth of 0.83 percent in 2017 and is expected to grow by 2.5 percent in 2018 based on the World Bank’s projections. This optimistic outlook is also evident in the NSE’s trading activities with cumulative transactions from January to April increasing by 114.22 percent from N509.38 billion recorded in 2017 to N1.091 trillion in 2018, evidently showing that Nigeria remains top of mind on the African continent for investors.
“Much of this was the result of improved macro-economic conditions driven by higher global oil prices and increased domestic oil output, as well as the exchanges’ keen focus on strategy execution and enhanced advocacy efforts, positively impacting the business of the exchange during the period.”