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Nigeria: ‘Stock Market Resilient to Survive Economic Upheavals’

The nation’s stock market will remain resilient to survive the current upheavals in the economy as well as the security challenges, the Chairman, Securities Dealing Houses Association of Nigeria (ASHON), Chief Onyenwechukwu Ezeagu, has said.

The economy has been experiencing a fragile growth, which is being threatened by the heightened insecurity across the country.

However, speaking on the impact of this development on the stock market, Ezeagu said despite the challenges, the market should remain attractive because it would come out strong.

“The stock market could be said to have become resilient to upheavals in the economy but with the heightened insecurity, we want to believe that the market will survive given that opinion leaders have continually advised the actors to jaw-jaw rather than war-war. We all need to tone down our words and actions for our country to avert catastrophe and ensure that our economy is sustained,” he said.

Speaking on the reduction in foreign portfolio investors (FPI), the ASHON boss said FPIs are highly sensitive investors.

“They react to little negatives not to talk of when mainstream media give subtle hints of insecurity in the land by various scary headlines.

“The penchant for policy somersaults and arbitrariness of actions by the authorities do not give impetus to the attraction of FPIs,” he said.

On the demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), he said it was a great delight to securities dealers in the market because it was long expected.

“The successful completion of the demutualisation process was a great delight to securities dealers. It was long expected and our members have eagerly expected this transition and have expectations. We expect to reap the benefits of shareholding in a fledging exchange, one of the best in Africa,” he said.

He explained that the demutualisation meant that securities dealing firms had transformed from being dealing members firms to shareholders and/or trading license holders.

“We have local investors who are well informed about the changes. But we still need to guide them to follow the consequential changes that may follow the exchange’s new orientation towards profit making,” he said.

Following the demutualisation, the NSE transitioned to Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group with three subsidiaries. At the formal launch of the new entity last month, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NGX Group Plc, Mr. Oscar Onyema, had said they had a vision to be the premier exchange hub for Nigerian businesses and for the wider African economy building on the strong reputation and corporate governance the NSE had established over the years.

“As we march bravely into the NGX era, we look forward to impact creating partnerships that will unlock value for our stakeholders, whilst improving the state of the Nigerian economy.

“It is a period to reinforce on the global stage, our great African pedigree and the Stock Africa Is Made of,” he said.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NGX, Mr. Temi Popoola, had said the NGX era was indeed very exciting for them.

“We will continue to champion the growth of the African capital market through trade and investments that will facilitate Africa’s economic recovery and reposition the continent for sustainable economic development.

Partnerships are a critical element of our strategy and we will continue to engage our stakeholders whose support is essential to the achievement of our aspirations in this NGX era,” Popoola said.