The Chief Executive Officer of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Mr. Oscar Onyema has stressed that the United Kingdom(UK) remains a key partner to Nigeria, particularly for its capital market development. Onyema spoke to journalists on the sidelines of the business networking event hosted by the British High Commission as part of the visit of the British Prime Minister, Theresa May to Nigeria.
“Both countries have a long history of trade and collaboration which is evident in various aspects of our socio-economic sectors. As you know, the NSE has a capital market agreement with the London Stock Exchange aimed at promoting seamless cross-border access between Lagos and London markets to ultimately develop larger capital markets that enable capital formation for businesses and governments; create deeper liquidity pools and greater competitiveness for investors; as well as enhance capacity and promote diversity of investment products to meet the needs of a wide range of investors and issuers”.
On the significance of the visit by the UK Prime Minister, Onyema stated that “the capital market is a major barometer of any economy. It was therefore not surprising that Prime Minister May allotted some time from her schedule to meet with capital market operators. The networking event has also in attendance some UK companies that might be interested in our market. The visit was positive and a good recognition for the Nigerian capital market”.
Onyema further opined that as the world is preparing for the fourth industrial revolution, the Nigerian capital market must ready itself to compete globally. He said “the capital market like many sectors is being impacted by technology. The World Bank has just issued bond-i its first blockchain operated bond. We have seen the growth of cryptocurrencies amongst innovations. On our part at the Exchange, we have deployed Artificial Intelligence to monitor activities in our market. This has even become imperative as we look set to demutualize and introduce more sophisticated products such as derivatives.”
Meanwhile, the equities market closed bearish as the NSE All-Share Index depreciated by 0.44 percent to close at 35,358.94, compared with the appreciation of 0.58 per cent the previous day. Similarly, the market capitalisation shed N47.4 billion to close at N12.91trillion.
The depreciation recorded in the share prices of some highly capitalised companies such as Dangote Cement, FBN Holdings, Unilever Nigeria Plc , Zenith Bank Plc, and UBA were mainly responsible for the decline.