Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Nigerian International Securities Limited (NISL) and the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) on Monday commited to expanding retail investment opportunities in the capital market.
The trio made the commitment at a webinar organised by the NSE in collaboration with the NISL in Lagos.
It was also supported by the CIS and the Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON).
The webinar was on “Capital Market Investing in a Digital Age”.
Mr Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, in his address, said investor participation was crucial to sustainable economic growth.
Onyema said the Exchange was committed to playing its role in advancing the Federal Government’s financial inclusion goals.
“Investor participation is central to the growth of sustainable development of any economy. NSE is committed to playing a critical role in the advancement of the FG’s financial inclusion goals. As part of our efforts to realise the objectives of the financial inclusion, we intend to facilitate conversations which will serve to equip existing and potential investors with the necessary skill to effectively manage and grow financial resources at their disposal. In these engagements, we will also expand the retail investment opportunities available in the capital market and the channels through which they can be accessed”.
The CEO of the Exchange also hailed operators and investors in the capital market for their resilience, with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 adversely affected the global economy in many ways and at different magnitude. The Nigerian capital market was also negatively affected, with the market witnessing a downturn in Q1 of this year. However, the market rebounded in Q2 and as a result the NSE all share index has recorded an 18.9 per cent increase from its position at the end of March. The market also witnessed the growth in the percentage value of equity transactions contributed by retail investors, currently at 29 per cent from 21.8 per cent in 2018 and 24.72 per cent in 2019”.
According to him, these highlight the market’s resilience in time of adversity and is a testament of market stakeholders’ ability to adapt.
Onyema said digital technology played a significant role in achieving the positive results recorded in the NSE so far adding that technology had helped to make significant services more easily accessible.
Mr Laolu Martins, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NISL, said that it had become imperative to ensure that retail investors were made aware of the opportunities inherent in the capital market.
Martins said for retail investors, navigating through the web of processes in the capital market was usually difficult, thereby discouraging them from investing.
He said: “The general belief is that retail investors are often left behind and do not have enough knowledge on the workings of the capital market. It is interesting to note that the NSE has over the years taken time and work to ensure that retail investors are carried along and aware of the various opportunities inherent in the NSE.
“NISL is a securities trading company, financial advisory service, offering consulting solutions to corporate bodies across the value of activities on the stock exchange. In order to invest properly, all investors need to carry out some sort of financial planning, no matter how small or big. We realised that for retail investors, it is usually difficult for them to navigate through these web of processes and other issues that create a bottleneck or discourage investors”.
Martins said some processes that create difficulties for investors include budgeting, investment, savings, risk management and liquidity management.
“At NISL, we have enough expertise to ensure that we help our investors navigate through this web of terms and processes to ensure that their investment is rewarding”.
Martins said the reason for the webinar was to expose some of the investment opportunities for retail investors.
“This webinar is to enlighten the investing public, retail investors, that they can buy bonds in the NSE and it is like lending your money to a company or a government entity. It is advisable that retail investors should approach their stockbrokers to guide them in which bond they should invest in”.
Mr Femi Balogun, Head, Market services Department, NSE, spoke on the importance of market data in guiding investors’ decision.
“Market data is important to the investment of an intending investor. Some people are good at picking stocks, but If you use data to drive your decision in conjunction with your expertise, you make a better informed decision on your investment”.
Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, President of CIS, commended the NSE, while pledging the Institute’s continued support to drive an inclusive financial system.
Amolegbe said the Exchange had always provided avenues that would support and ensure a seamless investing process for retail and other investors.