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Experts brainstorm on attracting investments to Nigerian bourse

Experts from the local an d International financial sec tor on Wednesday brainstormed about how to increase investment in Nigeria’s capi t al markets.

They underscored the great potentials and opportunities the country’s market off ers investors, and stressing the need for reduction in the cost of doing busines s es in order to attract more investors.

“The Nigerian market offers great opportunities and it is a central place to com e and do business,” the Head of Primary Markets for the Middle East and Africa, L ondon Stock Exchange (LSE), Ibukun Adebayo, told journalists at a workshop addre s sed by the experts.

“The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) equally has great potentials to become the nu mber one exchange in Africa, despite the challenges confronting it,” he added.

The one-day workshop which attracted more than 100 participants discussed the ou tlook for the Nigerian capital markets, international investor sentiments toward s the country, the structure required to raise capital and list on the LSE.

Adebayo said: “The ongoing reforms in the financial sector need to be sustained as a way of attracting more investors. The issue of cost of doing businesses on t he primary and secondary markets needs to be addressed. The way out is to have a

harmonized price, so that the cost of doing businesses will be reasonable to inv e stors.”

Commenting on the role of the LSE in aiding Nigeria’s corporate sector as well a s its capital market, Adebayo said: “The London Stock Exchange is interested in f urthering the overseas ambitions of Nigerian companies by offering the world’s l a rgest pool of international capital and global profile to them.

“We have seen in other emerging markets like India and China that international liquidity gives a boost to domestic liquidity and in that sense we shall be a st a keholder in the continuing development of Nigeria’s capital markets.”

Tosin Adewuyi, Executive Director Head, Trade Finance Africa and Nigeria’s Senio r Country Officer for J.P. Morgan, described the Nigerian market as key on the c o ntinent, stressing that at the moment the company had no plans to buy any bank o r engage in retail banking.

“J.P. Morgan is committed to the development and growth of Nigeria’s capital mar kets. We have had a presence in Nigeria since the 1960s and have been involved t o date in some of the landmark capital raising transactions in Nigeria. We are pr o moting the Nigerian capital markets workshop as a forum to encourage a discussio n on best practices and the development of the Nigerian capital markets,” he said .

The Managing Director, Middle East and Africa for Thomson Reuters, Russell Harwo rth, said the company would continue to look for ways of improving and providing

real time information and data on the Nigerian capital market to both the local a nd international investors.

Funso Fatobi, Head of Strategy and Business Development of the NSE, said despite the numerous challenges confronting the exchange, the market was on the path of

recovery.

He said investors’ apathy witnessed in the last two years was gradually giving w ay to cautious optimism due to vibrant regulatory responses to issues concerning

the market.

He also cited the recent listing of four new companies on the exchange as the ma nifestation of the investor confidence.

The NSE is the second largest exchange in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa .

As at 19 November, the NSE had market capitalization of 10.1 trillion naira. The All Share-Index which was 20,827.17 points in December last year had by 19 Nove m ber this year gained 19.23% to close at 24,959.95 points. It currently has 263 l i sted securities.

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