ASHON Chairman Foresees Bright Prospects for Capital Market

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Goddy Egene

The Chairman of Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Chief Oyinyechukwu Ezeagu, has projected bright prospects for the Nigerian capital market and its operators. According to him, there would be multiple options for securities dealers as the take-off of demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is being awaited.

Already, the capital market boasts of Over-the-Counter (OTC) exchange operated by NASD Plc and while FMDQ Securities Exchange has become a full-fledged exchange. Currently, the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE) is expected to commence operations soon.

Speaking on the development, Ezeagu said all these exchanges have brought multiple income streams to stockbrokers’ table.

“The new trend in the financial market is that operators have multiple options for professional practice. These go along with multiple income streams on the table of market operators. We are looking at a broad range of markets and the readiness of operators to participate in these markets. We have seen an expansion in fixed income investments, in government securities and renewed interests in the commodities market. The listing of two telecommunications companies excited the market within the year, Ezeagu said.

He spoke on the impending demutualisation of the NSE saying : “ It had been in the works for a while and ASHON has been involved in the discussions. We represent firms that will transit from members to shareholders of the exchange. We are gearing up to this new responsibility and the benefits we expect to flow from the laudable venture. Our members are being repositioned to operate under the demutualised exchange. ASHON’s members are currently the owners of the NSE. We have embarked on strategic restructuring to bolster the members’ image, consolidate a formidable team and review internal processes among others. The process of demutualisation of the NSE is approaching a climax.

We expect that we shall transform from being members to shareholders soon. It is important that we prepare ourselves for the change in status which comes with some responsibilities and new realities. All our members representing us both at the Advisory Committee and the NSE Council have been working tirelessly to defend our collective interests in the demutualisation process.”

According to him, in order to effectively improve the image of the ASHON, they redesigned and changed the brand identity of the association with a logo of progressive bars of different vibrant colours to depict the new thinking and divergent positive outlook of the association.

“The association has set out to reposition herself and Members to expand our horizon by exploring the potentials of trading in other securities like commodities and fixed income,” he said.