Investors responding positively to FG’s policies — NGX CEO

By Philemon Adedeji

The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), Temi Popoola has expressed optimism around the recent policies by the Federal Government since the inauguration of President Bola Tinubu, saying that investors are responding positively with bullish sentiments in the market.

Popoola said this during a monitored programme (NewsDay) on BBC News recently, just as he remained hopeful that the current bullish sentiments in the domestic bourse will be sustained in the long run. Equity investors have endured long periods of bearish sentiments on the floor of NGX but that has changed considerably since President Tinubu’s policy statements on May 29, 2023.

Transactions on the exchange concluded the first half of the year on a positive note, with the NGX All-Share Index (ASI) gaining 18.9 per cent and closing at 60,968.27 points, marking a significant milestone for the index as it reached its highest level in 15 years since March 5, 2008 when it stood at 66,381.20 points.

Investors have also had cause to smile as their wealth rose by N5.3 trillion in H1. This impressive performance, according to the CEO, came amid audacious macroeconomic reforms under the new administration after a 5-year bearish cycle.

He said, “In the past one month, there has been a change in administration and I would say a couple of things have happened. There has been a material change in policy management. We have gone from an unorthodox approach to something more orthodox, more traditional. This has engendered a lot of hope and I think the financial markets responded in a very positive fashion.”

The CEO also added that the liberalization of the FX market has transformed the economy. “So in the past, there has been scarcity of FX and this liberalization policy has started to resolve that. So, we expect that our corporates can run more efficiently which means that they can be more profitable in markets like ours.

We had a gap between the official rate and the parallel market in the past. This has normalized now and there is increased propensity by foreign investors to bring money into Nigeria and that of course helps the general FX situation. The country is now open to foreign capital and what this does is to transform and improve the economy”.

While emphasizing the cyclical nature of the market, Popoola expressed positivity on the likelihood of the bullish sentiment lasting for the long term. “Overall, we are very hopeful and optimistic that this trend continues for the long term. These are the sort of policies that markets and investors like as they are able to plan better, forecast effectively, and so generally we are very hopeful and optimistic.”

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