NSE plans to sustain early 2020 growth trajectory

14 Jan 2020
Financial Nigeria


Following a challenging 2019, market sentiments have improved at the turn of the New Year.

Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Office, Nigerian Stock Exchange

Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oscar Onyema, said on Monday that the bourse intends to work closely with its stakeholders to sustain the growth trajectory, which the Nigerian equities market has recorded so far in 2020. Onyema stated this at an event where he presented a review of the market performance in 2019 and the outlook for this year.

Following a challenging year in which the All Share Index (ASI) of the NSE depreciated by 14.6 per cent in 2019, market sentiments have improved at the turn of the New Year.

“The year 2020 has started on a good note, with the NSE ASI recording a 9.41% improvement year-to-date as at January 10," Onyema said during his presentation, tagged “2019 Market Recap and Outlook for 2020.”

The benchmark stock index further rose by 0.74 per cent to close at 29,633.58 points on Monday, but declined by 1.18 per cent today, to close the trading day at 29,283.15 points.

"We intend to work closely with our stakeholders to sustain this growth trajectory," the NSE's CEO said. "As African Champions, we will maintain momentum in executing the NSE’s 2018-2021 Corporate Strategy in our efforts to elevate the prominence of Africa’s global financial markets.”

Onyema said the negative performance of the country's capital market last year reflected the weak performance of the larger economy, which grew by 2.28 per cent in the third quarter of 2019. The economy continued to grow below the population growth rate, following the 2016 recession.

"The Nigerian bourse witnessed the impact of various factors, including a weak macroeconomic landscape; fiscal and monetary policy direction; underwhelming trends in Foreign Portfolio Investments; concerns around the stability of the naira and moderate corporate earnings. While these factors led to negative performance in the equity market during the year, our Fixed Income market performed exceptionally well, reflecting a flight to safety,” the NSE's CEO noted.

Despite challenges faced last year, the NSE said it continued to execute its 2018–2021 corporate strategy, which aims to enhance the customer experience across the value chain, reorganize for success, and advance its strategic initiatives. The NSE said it will continue to unfold its demutualization programme.

The demutualization scheme, which got members' approval in 2017, received presidential assent in 2018 when President Muhammadu Buhari signed its enactment legislation. As a demutualized entity, the NSE is expected to explore new income opportunities and be in a better position to support the economic growth of Nigeria.

In a statement released yesterday, the NSE said, "While keeping an eye on the strategic intent post-demutualization, The Exchange commits to leveraging its vast network of stakeholders, in addition to developing new strategic partnerships to deliver better products and services to the investing public."

Some of the milestones achieved in terms of business development by the NSE in 2019 included the launch of various initiatives such as the X-Mobile app to boost investors’ participation; Investor Relations data pack to enhance issuers’ stakeholders’ engagement; Mutual Fund Trading and Distribution Platform to enhance the retail customer experience; and the X-Academy e-learning to make quality learning accessible and affordable to individuals, corporations, and institutions.

The NSE also launched various sustainability initiatives last year to advance its corporate citizenship. They include the Facts Behind the Sustainability Report (FBSR) and the Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines to promote Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices and reporting.

In recognition of these efforts, the NSE was conferred with the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative Award at the Marketing World Awards and also won the Outstanding Invaluable Company for CSR from Rotary International.  

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