By Nkiruka Nnorom
DESPITE the bearish run that pervaded the equities markets in 2018 which resulted in over 17 percent decline in Nigerian stock market, NASD OTC Securities Exchange, a platform that organises trades in unlisted securities in Nigeria, recorded 22.5 percent return during the year.
The Chairman, NASD Plc, Mr. Olutola Mobolurin, who disclosed this at the sixth Annual General Meeting, AGM, of the Exchange in Lagos, said that the increase was driven by increased awareness of the existence of the platform and participation by local investors during the year. He disclosed that the Unlisted Securities Index, USI, rose to 740.66 points in 2018 from 604.88 points in 2017, representing 22.45 percent increase, while the market capitalisation rose by 21.8 percent to N514.8 billion from N402.51 billion in 2017.
He said: “In the capital markets, capital outflows in first quarter, Q1, through to Q3 2018 rocked the equities market due to rising US yields and uncertainty regarding the elections. However, strong domestic participation in the OTC market ensured a 22.45 percent return of the NASD in 2018.”
He explained that the launch of NASD Enterprise Portal, NASDeP, by the Exchange during the course of the year opened up the market to a new group of pre-IPO companies that are seeking to interact with limited number of single non-bank financiers such as Private Equity firms and asset managers.
“It also widened the NASD OTC Securities Exchange community as other capital market professionals are now able to register and advise on the portal. Through NASDeP, we gave growth companies the needed capital market support that would ensure their long term sustainability,” he added.
Laying the financial performance before the members at the meeting, he said that migration of its trading platform from the leased Nasdaq OMX platform to its Proprietary Bilateral Inter-dealer Trading System (BITS) resulted in a massive crash in the company’s trading cost to N1.4 million from N63 million in 2017.