Nigerian Bourse Targets $1 Trillion Market Capitalization By 2016

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VENTURES AFRICA – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema has disclosed plans for the NSE to hit $1 trillion market capitalisation by 2016.

Speaking at the 21st AGM and Delegates’ Conference of the Financial Market Dealers Association (FMDA) in Lagos, Onyema said:“If you look at the purchasing power parity, at $1 trillion, the capital market capitalisation will boom. It is not impossible to achieve, though it sounds big.”

According to Nigerian daily, Thisday, Onyema explained that though the Exchange had significantly improved in the last one year, the absence of many companies on the bourse was diminishing its growth.

None of the heavily capitalized telecom companies in the country, including MTN, Eitsalat and Bharti Airtel, were listed on the Lagos-based bourse due to undisclosed factors, according to NSE Chairman.

“We are asking the telecomm firms why they are not listed on the NSE and they have given us a number of issues and we are working on them. We are expecting that next year, a telecomm firm will be listed,” Onyema explained.

He added that the listing of companies portends added advantage of security and fund generation.

“There is need for companies to be listed. Not listing is one of the reasons some companies fold up especially when the founder is dead because the family members resort to fighting over who is going to be in charge,” Onyema added.

“70 percent of foreign participation doesn’t want to let go because they cannot get better returns elsewhere. But we are sourcing for more local investors to also come list their companies,” he said.

Boosting Local Participation

In a related development, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange (SEC) has approved a plan by World Bank’s investment unit, International Finance Corporation (IFC), to generate a 100 billion naira ($640,000) locally denominated bond.

Ms Mary Uduk, a top SEC official said “the proceeds would be used to support private sector activities, onward lending to local banks and promote capital market development.”

Onyema disclosed that the NSE is implementing a new set of regulations to ensure the listing of appropriate companies on the Exchange. He assured that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would ensure that a lot of oil and gas companies are listed on the Nigerian bourse, and create a conducive business environment for these companies.