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We will continue to support Fintech, others — SEC`

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The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Lamido Yuguda has said that the Executive Management  of the Commission will continue to create awareness, imparting knowledge and engendering public participation on issues relating to fintech, sustainable finance, financial inclusion and non-interest finance.

Yuguda said the SEC recognizes the disruption of fintech in the financial industry and aims to create an enabling regulatory environment that would ensure a balance between investor protection and technological advancement.

The DG who spoke during an interview recently stated that the SEC will advance efforts towards developing a comprehensive regulatory framework that ensures that operators in the digital asset space conduct their activities in a manner that protects investors and maintains financial system stability.

He stated that to develop an appropriate regulatory framework for fintech, regulators need to understand the digital asset space to be better positioned to address identified risks.

He said, “The SEC will continue to monitor developments in the digital asset space and further engage/collaborate with all critical stakeholders, including the CBN to create a regulatory structure that enhances economic development while promoting a safe, innovative and transparent capital market,” he added.

“We believe that fintech would not only bring about efficiency to the capital market but would also serve as a veritable tool for advancing Nigeria’s Financial Inclusion agenda. However, there is a need to develop an appropriate regulatory framework to ensure the safety of innovation to investors and preserve market integrity.”

According to Yuguda, the SEC’s approach is consistent with the approaches of several securities regulators around the world as in the United States of America, the US SEC requires platforms that offer to trade in digital asset securities and operate as exchanges to register or seek to be exempted from registration.

“In the United Kingdom, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires firms that carry on specified activities, by way of business, involving a crypto asset, to be authorized. Crypto assets are viewed as financial products in South Africa and the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) requires persons carrying out associated activities to be regulated.

“In Malaysia, operators of digital asset platforms are required to be approved by the Securities Commission (SC) as recognised market operators. Several other securities regulators have taken similar positions.”

The DG said that at the moment, crypto exchanges do not have access to the banking platform that is needed to drive their trades in Nigeria saying that in its drive to implement the revised 10-year capital market master plan, the Commission is looking at digital assets that really protect investors.

Yuguda added that the SEC will promote investment in some digital assets with investor protection at the core and also explore blockchain technology to advance virtual and traditional investment products, adding, “the Commission is in the business of protecting investors, not in the business of speculation.”

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IATF2023 records $43.8bn closed deals

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The African Export-Import Bank has disclosed that the third Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) held in Cairo from 9 to 15 November witnessed the conclusion of business deals and transactions valued at US$43.8 billion.

In the final tallies released in Cairo, the organisers of the continental event said that the amount represented the value of 426 deals concluded in 21 sectors covering 52 countries. At a press conference to announce the results, Executive Vice President (Intra-African Trade Bank) at Afreximbank, Mrs Kanayo Awani, also announced that 130 countries participated in the trade fair, which attracted 1,939 exhibitors and 28,282 participants who attended physically and through the IATF virtual platform.

One of the notable transactions included the Export Agriculture for Food Security Framework executed by several African countries (as Origin Countries) and ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms, Arise IIP (as Anchor Investor) to which Afreximbank committed US$2 billion to boost production, processing, and intra-African trade in agricultural products and to provide African farmers and agribusinesses with opportunities to access larger markets across the continent.

Mrs Awani also said that the IATF had successfully established itself as the premier trade and investment event in Africa, with the unique capacity to increase intra-African trade and investment, especially in the context of implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.

“Building on the successes of IATF2018 and IATF2021, I am proud to say that the buzz and energy generated by IATF2023 will be felt across Africa and beyond for many years to come. Together, we have explored new possibilities and opened new doors for a brighter future for our continent,” she added.

IATF2023 kicked off on 9 November and included an official opening ceremony, a Presidential Summit which was addressed by President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt, a Trade and Investment Forum, the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX), an African Auto Forum, AU Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, a Sub-Sovereigns Conference, a Diaspora Summit, an African Industrialization Week and an African Tourism Sustainability and Investment Forum. A series of side events were also held as part of the trade fair.

The next edition of the IATF will be hosted in 2025 by Algeria.

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Investors record positive gains, as NGXASI advance by 0.43%

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Investors yesterday recorded positive gains on the Nigerian equities market following Monday’s losses.

According to data obtained from the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) website, the NGX Market CAP recorded a gain of N165.99 billion in Naira terms.

The NGX All-Share Index (NGXASI) also advanced by 0.43 percent, closing at 71,250.17 basis points, compared to the previous day’s loss of 0.66 percent, which closed at 70,946.83 basis points. With the growth, the NGXASI now stands at 39.02 percent.

The total volume traded also advanced by 20.93 percent to close at N433.57 million, valued at N11.11 billion and traded in 7,016 deals.

The Gate Index closed flat at 183.36, while the Toni index advanced by 0.27 percent to close at 375.28 basis points.

At the close of trading, the market recorded 40 gainers, 15 losers, and 64 unchanged. NSLTECH topped the gainers list, while ABBEYBDS topped the list of losers.

UACN was the most traded stock by volume with N61.71 million, while NIDF was the most traded stock by value with N2.22 billion units traded.

UACN also had the highest volume contribution with 14.23 percent, while UBA and GTCO followed closely.

According to the value chart, NIDF is at the top with a 20.0 percent contribution. AIRTELAFRI and MTNN followed closely behind.

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SEC DG calls for multifaceted approach to enhance capital market growth

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The Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Lamido Yuguda has called for a multi-faceted approach to enhance the growth of Nigeria’s capital market.

The SEC DG made this known while addressing journalists at the 2023 conference of the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) held in Lagos at the weekend.

According to Yuguda who was represented by the Executive Commissioner Operations, SEC, Mr Dayo Obisan, “Effectively harnessing the capital market for national development entails a multi-faceted approach, these include deploying more infrastructure, fostering more public-private partnerships, establishing specialised entities like special purpose vehicles (SPVs), listing state-owned enterprises, issuing green bonds to support sustainable projects, and bolstering small and medium enterprises among others.”

According to him, the revised capital market master plan underscored SEC’s commitment to deepening and. repositioning the financial market as a key driver of sustainable economic growth.

“The master plan which represents collective aspirations of the capital market community is focused on driving initiatives geared towards growing and deepening the market with the ultimate goal of accelerating the emergence of our dear country in the top 20 economies by the year 2025,” Yuguda said.

The SEC DG added that synergy holds the potential of unleashing capital market prowess and paving the way for a prosperous future.

According to him, achieving the objective necessitates an increased utilisation of market mechanisms and instruments to raise funds and stimulate economic advancement.

He pointed out that the commission would continue to introduce new ideas and policies that would support the development and regulation of a capital market that is dynamic, fair, transparent, and efficient to contribute to the nation’s economic development, noting that investors protection plays a crucial role in the development and integrity of the capital market.

Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Director, SEC Lagos Zonal office, Mr John Briggs, urged the government to create infrastructure financing instruments that would facilitate easy servicing of obligations.

“We have encouraged a lot of infrastructure funds like sukuk, and green bonds and we are even talking about blue bonds to develop the market.”

“The capital market has created the conducive environment to ensure a transparent and dynamic market which would continue to attract investment,” he said.

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