The Chief Executive Office, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema; CEO, World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), Ms. Nandini Sukumar; CEO, London Stock Exchange (LSE), Mr. Nikhil Rathi; and CEO, Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE), Robert Scharfe have said global stock markets have remained resilient amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to them, global Exchanges continue to focus on providing robust and resilient markets to support issuers and investors in raising capital and investing across asset classes.
They spoke during the ‘Capital Markets in a Pandemic’ webinar hosted by the NSE, yesterday. Onyema said at the brink of the crisis, they received requests from investors seeking clarification on the Exchange’s business continuity plans and ability to keep the market open.
“This was clarified early enough as details of our robust response to COVID-19 was communicated to all stakeholders and we have enjoyed seamless remote operations since. This is, however, possible because of our commitment to digital transformation which began several years ago and continues to evolve with today’s emerging trends,” he said.
On his part, Scharfe said: “Over the last few months, we have seen the green bond market shift quickly towards social bonds. We have seen over $20 billion raised in response to COVID-19. This is an indication that investors are interested in these types of investments and I think this is just the beginning of the shift for shift ESG investments from a niche asset to the mainstream.”
Also speaking, Rathi said: “We anticipate a change in the nature of investing with ESG considerations featuring across asset classes. The LSE is, therefore, excited over our foresight in building a dedicated Green Bond Segment and introducing a green economy classification for equities. In fact, our first listing for the year was a green energy company. It will, therefore, be interesting to see how this plays out over the next ten or so years even as issuers respond to investors’ demands to build a better world.”
Sukumar of WFE said: “The focus today is on rebuilding the economy. Exchanges have made the requisite investments to keep markets open and maintain fair and orderly markets during this pandemic. They will remain fundamental to capital market stakeholders who require access to capital to build, grow and develop the various sectors of the economy.”
In closing the event, the National Council President, NSE, Otunba Abimbola Ogubanjo stated, “Today, we have highlighted some of the steps that we can expect to see in the near future including the development of alternative and sustainable asset classes; dependence on technology and digital innovation; commitment to customer centricity; and drive for collaboration across regions.”