Experts Highlight Importance of Market Data for Investment Decisions

Goddy Egene

The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, has stressed the importance of reliance on market data as a fundamental tool for making sound financial decisions, noting that the Nigerian case is no different.

Onyema stated this at the NSE 5th Market Data Workshop 2020 hosted in collaboration with InfoWARE Limited, with the theme: “Handling shocks in the capital market: A quantitative risk management approach using market data.”

According to him, in Nigeria, the equities market recorded negative performance in the first quarter (Q1) of the year, with the NSE All Share Index (ASI) posting a quarterly return of -20.65 per cent.

“However, the market saw an upswing since April 2020, and has so far gained +31.67 per cent as at 12 November. This feat – particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic – can be attributed to smart investors bargain hunting and the release of positive year-end financial results of several listed companies, coupled with improved dividend declarations. It demonstrates the opportunities that abound in the market for discerning investors, even in a time of crisis, and underscores the importance of quality market data for investment decision-making,” he said.

Speaking during a panel session, Head, Market Services, NSE, Olufemi Balogun, highlighted the importance of building financial or investment models that can be tested with real-life situations. Panelists agreed that the unprecedented happenings of 2020 have proven that reliable real-time and historical data that can easily be understood is critical to building these models.

Market Data Officer, Market Services, NSE, Ms. Anita Gopaldas, gave a presentation which highlighted the exchange’s wide range of reliable, accurate and timely market information services and data solutions across all asset classes and data products to market participants locally and internationally.

Some of these provisions include the NSE API which ensures the dissemination of real-time data to stakeholders, FIX Order Management System which allows trade information to be transmitted from anywhere to the exchange and the recently upgraded X-DataPortal, which serves as a consolidated, streamlined platform for market participants to access quality and timely data at an affordable rate.

In addressing the topic, Adopting a data driven culture: The key to innovation, the second panel session addressed changes in business operations occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and how the timeliness, accuracy and availability of data has been critical in shaping how they interact with stakeholders.

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