By Tunde Oso
The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has admonished Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) operating in Nigeria to focus on investors’ protection in all their dealings, services and activities within the capital market.
This was contained in the goodwill message delivered on behalf of Mallam Lamido Yuguda, the Director General of the Commission, by its Head of Monitoring Department, Mr Adamu Sambo at the inaugural Edition of DataPro’s Annual Webinar on Credit Rating Imperatives for Issuers and investors held in Lagos.
The webinar, attended by participants from different parts of the world, was hosted by DataPro, a technology-driven Credit Rating Agency and the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria (AIHN).
In his welcome address, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of DataPro, Mr Abimbola Adeseyoju called for greater socialisation of the crucial role played by Credit Rating Agencies in the efficient allocation of capital and resources within the economy.
According to Mr Adeseyoju, DataPro will henceforth be charting a new course in the CRAs industry in Nigeria and focusing on the way forward as well as on how Investors and Issuers alike can adapt to the new normal and drive economic growth and development through the various securities, products and services available in the Nigerian Debt Market.
In the keynote address, titled “Galvanising the Capacity of the Nigerian Debt Capital Market”, delivered by Mr Bola Onadele Koko, the Chief Executive Officer of FMDQ Group, he said that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the new wave of globalisation with massive decline in World Trade, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and net travel leading to a 3% traction on Global GDP in 2020.
Goodwill messages were delivered by Mrs Tinuade Awe, the CEO of NGX Regulation; Mr Philip Oduoza, the Chairman of Nova Merchant Bank Limited and Mr Akin Akeredolu-Ale, the Managing Director of Lagos Commodities & Futures Exchange (LCFE), who all emphasised on the crucial role Credit Rating Agencies play within the Market and praised the initiative of DataPro and AIHN to organise the Webinar.
While speaking on the possibility of SME’s getting an Investment Rating Grade, Mr Oladele Adeoye, the Chief Rating Officer of DataPro, mentioned that although size is important, other parameters such as Diversity of Earnings, Earning profiles, Cashflow and Corporate Governance are major considerations to focus on by the entities.
Mrs Funke Okoya on her part mentioned that the low-interest rate and capital market diversification are favourable terms for Issuers and Investors to explore in the market. In terms of regulation and supervision in the capital market, she commented that the stance of the new leadership at SEC and globally is the adoption of “Regulation as Service” philosophy.
For Mr Jacques Piekarski, a platform such as the one created by DataPro and AIHN should be upheld so as to enable all stakeholders to get informed and acquainted with trends, patterns and emerging issues.
In bringing the webinar to a close, DataPro unveiled two products offering a rebranded and New Look Rating Report and a Rating Guide Dashboard for Investors.