Story by Olabode Jegede
The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, has said about three per cent of Nigeria’s adult population currently participate in the capital market, stressing that stakeholders must increase collaborating efforts in promoting higher levels of financial inclusion in the country.
Speaking at the NSE, Debt Management Office (DMO) and Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers 2019 retail bond workshop in Lagos, he said the Exchange strategic vision to become the preferred Exchange hub in Africa, would continue to pursue initiatives that seeks to increase domestic participation in capital market through increased access to investment solutions, as well as support government to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development.
Onyema, in his opening remarks stated that the Exchange had sought to promote financial inclusion with the launch of the NSE retail bond market, while stimulating retail investor participation in the Nigerian debt market.
According to him, “From our humble beginnings of listing and trading Federal Republic of Nigeria (FGN) Development Stocks in 1961, the Exchange is delighted to have revolutionized into a multi-asset hub with a N12.47 trillion debt market providing investors access to a wide range of investment opportunities in the domestic and international capital market through the listing of sovereign, sub-national, corporates and supranational debt issues.
“Our partnership with the DMO towards creating investment opportunities for retail investors in the Debt Market dates to the launch of the NSE Retail Bond Market in 2012; when the DMO appointed a Government Stockbroker to provide liquidity in FGN bonds on our bourse.
“Prior to that time, investing in listed debt instruments had been dominated by institutional investors trading in wholesale denominations.
“In March 2017, the Exchange in collaboration with the DMO launched the FGN Savings Bond having recognised the opportunity presented by the Nigerian demographic to diversify Government’s funding sources as well as enhances national savings culture
“Since its debut issuance of N2.067 billion, retail investors from across the six geo-political zones and the diaspora have invested in the FGN Savings Bond with the DMO raising over N13 billion from 2-year and 3-year bond maturities as at July 2019,” he noted.
Speaking further he said, “Our appreciation goes to the management of DMO under the leadership of Ms. Patience Oniha for their continued commitment to deepening the Nigerian capital and promoting financial inclusion through several initiatives which we have collaborated over the years.
“I also thank the Government Stockbrokers, Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers for their support in deepening the retail bond market. We believe that the learnings from this workshop will help you recognize the opportunities in the Debt Capital Market and identify channels through which they can be accessed,” Onyema added.
This year’s workshop was is aimed at promoting awareness on investing in federal government securities with discussions on investment opportunities in FGN Bonds, trading of FGN securities on the NSE as well as addressing the issues around the purchase of FGN securities, payments of coupons, complaint resolution.
The Exchange assured a continued collaboration with the government and market stakeholders to collectively enhance market depth and domestic participation in the Nigerian capital market.