In a recent interview, the Divisional Head of Trading Business at The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Jude Chiemeka, spoke about some strategic plans that have been put in place to enhance global competitiveness. He also touched on a number of other issues. See excerpts below:
QUESTION: What are the key strategic initiatives you’re working on at the moment?
In redefining its strategic ambitions, the NSE selected three key focus areas to pursue to enhance our global competitiveness and appeal to stakeholders. They are based on enhancing customer satisfaction; boosting our retail segment penetration and; Enhancing our organizational agility.
As part of our tailored strategies for different customer segments, we have significantly increased our focus on growing retail participation as a key component in building a resilient market. At the crux of this, is the establishment of a Retail Investor Coverage Office, to help us more effectively support the Nigerian populace to create durable wealth. The office drives our efforts towards (i) simple, affordable and attractive investment products and services for retail investors; and (ii) innovative financial literacy and investor outreach programs that foster radical change.
The Exchange is working hard with other key stakeholders to roll out Exchange Traded Derivatives (ETDs), further expand the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) space which is needed to meet our objective of facilitating order flow across various asset classes and offer our ever-increasing community of domestic and global investors a greater array of products to diversify and manage risk.
The Exchange is also working hard to promote initiatives like margin lending and securities lending which are tested mechanisms for increasing market liquidity and improving market efficiency. Through our Government Relations and state-owned Enterprises Departments, we continue to engage the government on the privatization and listing of state-owned enterprises.
We also maintain our role as an advocate for the adoption and implementation of market-friendly policies required for sustainable economic growth.
Question: How would the NSE assess the market so far in 2019?
Market sentiments this year have been shaped largely by the electioneering season. Average daily turnover stands at about N3.3 billion compared to N7.2 billion within the same period in 2018. Due to the election uncertainties, many foreign portfolio investors chose to remain on the sidelines. Retail participation has also been weak due to other macro-economic factors.
We are delighted to have finally completed the highly anticipated listing of MTN Nigeria, and Airtel Africa on the Exchange in addition to the earlier listing of SAHCOL. These listings are a promising development in the capital market and we encourage other issuers to explore the different opportunities in the capital markets for raising long term capital. As a listing platform of choice, these listings have added to our bouquet of diverse investment offerings to the public.
In the Fixed Income market, we have also seen activity in the primary market, mostly driven by issuances by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Corporates have also raised and listed N23.5Bn ($63.74Mn) worth of green bonds on the Exchange, as green financing continues to garner more attention in Nigeria.
QUESTION: With elections now out of the way, what is the NSE’s outlook for the market?
First of all, we are pleased that the 2019 presidential and gubernatorial elections were successful as this was one of the key risk factors that were heavily priced into the market this year. We expect the foreign exchange rates to remain stable within the CBN’s discretionary limits especially with the reappointment of the CBN governor.
The economy continues to recover from the 2016 recession with the IMF revising its 2019 growth projections for Nigeria from 2.0% in its January World Economic Outlook to 2.1% in its April 2019 edition. In addition, oil prices have remained relatively high with at an average of $65 per barrel which is very good for government spending and budget implementation.
All these create a strong case for investing in the Nigerian Capital Market. A closer look at key market indicators shows that asset valuations are currently low and remain attractive while providing significant upward potential on investments. The equities market is trading at a P/E ratio of 7.3x compared to 13.5x in global emerging markets, 10.5x in frontier markets and 17.8x in the global market.
The average market Dividend Yield of 6.6% is double the dividend yield from emerging markets at 3.0% and 2.5% for the global market.
QUESTION: What is being done to boost local market liquidity?
To enhance liquidity, The Exchange is reviewing the Market Making Programme to address challenges observed over the years with the programme. The key changes include migration to a risk-based capital adequacy regime and liberalization of the securities selection process as well as the removal of a fixed number of market makers per security.
Additionally, incentives such as waivers on regulatory transaction fees are being considered to improve the commercial attractiveness to participants. Amendments to the Market Making rules have been exposed to market stakeholders for comments and a new Market Making Programme will be rolled out once the amended rules are approved.
QUESTION: What policies has the Exchange put in place to encourage participation from individuals?
We understand that education is key in getting the youth to invest in the Capital Market and closing the knowledge gap of investors particularly the youth. The exchange will continue to drive up the reach of its financial literacy programs. In 2018 alone over 50,000 young people reached through over 170 financial literacy programs.
Through X-Academy, the Exchange’s knowledge platform, we continue to provide education services to individuals on various aspects of the capital market. Leveraging technologies that young people are involved with, we have also increased our online engagements on various social media platforms. We have adopted artificial intelligence through the
launch of X-Bot, an AI chatbot that responds to investor enquiries through Facebook Messenger.
What is the NSE doing to improve the investment climate here, and how would you assess the attractiveness of Nigeria? While we are in a much-improved place from 2016, Nigeria is not where it needs to be in regard to its attractiveness to investors. The Exchange continues to play a strong role in advocating and collaborating with the government on improving the ease of doing business. We have engaged the government to help
work on the ease of doing business, including the ease of registering companies, raising capital, entry of goods and services, entry of people, and so on. We can do more in these areas and are working closely with the government to do more. In April this year, we were recognized for our contributions to the government’s initiative towards improving the ease of doing business at the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Awards.
QUESTION: While the Exchange has various products such as equities, fixed income, and ETFs, it is primarily known for equities. Why do you think this is so and what is NSE doing to correct this?
For a long time, the Exchange focused mainly on the equities products as the debt market was relatively less developed and ETFs did not exist in Nigeria until 2011. As a sustainable Exchange championing Africa’s growth, we are committed to providing investors and businesses a reliable, efficient and an adaptable exchange hub in Africa, to save and to access capital. We have introduced new product offerings into our market over the last few years, in an effort to diversify investment opportunities for domestic/foreign
We are also working steadily to introduce Exchange Traded Derivatives ETDs. We also started a “more than equities” campaign to position the Exchange as a multi-asset securities exchange and create more awareness around the other products available on the Exchange. We continue to work hard to deepen these product lines and increase market activity.
Fairfax Africa Holdings enters purchase agreement with Helios Holdings Ltd
Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. agreed to merge with Helios Holdings Ltd.
Canada-based Fairfax Africa Holdings Corporation has reached an agreement to merge with Helios Holdings limited, the Africa-focused private equity firm which was co-founded by Tope Lawani and Babatunde Soyoye. The purpose of the merger is to create a truly pan-African investment firm.
A statement made available by Fairfax, as seen by Nairametrics, noted that when the deal is finalised, Fairfax Africa Holdings Corporation will be renamed Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation. The company will remain listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Helios co-founders will be joint Chief Executives of the new company.
The terms of the deal will also require Helios to exchange 45.6% of equity and voting interest in the new company. Helios will contribute its performance and management fees through its present and future holdings under the Helios funds, thereby making Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation one of the biggest Africa-focused asset management firms by complementing the experiences and funds of both companies under one umbrella.
The new company will also have a larger capital base for diversified investment inflows to the continent through years of experience in third-party investment management operations and the support of longer-term institutional shareholders.
The main objectives of this deal are summarised below:
- Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation to become the leading pan-Africa focused listed alternative asset manager with unique capabilities to invest across the continent
- Creates a diversified investment platform combining best in class third-party investment management capabilities with the strength of long-term shareholders in a permanent capital vehicle
- Provides an enlarged capital base, increasing capacity to invest as well as to launch additional and differentiated Africa focused asset management strategies and initiatives
- Reinforces the parties’ shared long-term commitment to be a consistent and trusted provider of capital to growing African businesses across market cycles
- Tope Lawani and Babatunde Soyoye, the co-founders and Managing Partners of Helios Investment Partners LLP, will become joint CEOs of the combined holding company, enabling the company to build on the track record they have established over the last 15 years
In his remarks, Tope Lawani disclosed that the deal will offer emerging market investors the opportunity to gain exposure to the continent through their portfolio.
“We take a long-term view on our investments, and many have proved resilient even in this pandemic with a number of our investments in sectors such as telecommunications, payments, and food,” Lawani said.
He added that the transaction will offer Helios access to permanent capital from equity markets that can be used to accelerate its product and growth strategy.
Helios, which was founded in 2004, has raised third party private capital for the past 15 years investing in Africa companies including First City Monument Bank (exiting in 2013), Interswitch, Vivo Energy and Helios Towers Plc.
Fairfax was founded by Canadian Billionaire Prem Watsa and will own 45.6% of the Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation. Before the merger, Helios was raising $1.25 billion for its Africa focused fund and had landed a commitment of $100 million from the U.K’s CDC Group.
You may read the full statement by Fairfax by clicking here.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 10th of July 2020, 575 new confirmed cases and 20 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continue to record significant increase as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 31,323 confirmed cases.
On the 10th of July 2020, 575 new confirmed cases and 20 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,725 samples across the country.
To date, 31,323 cases have been confirmed, 12,795 cases have been discharged and 709 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 175,656 tests have been carried out as of July 10th, 2020 compared to 171,931 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 10th July 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 31,323
- Total Number Discharged – 12,795
- Total Deaths – 709
- Total Tests Carried out – 175,656
According to the NCDC, the 575 new cases are reported from 18 states- Lagos (224), Oyo (85), FCT (68), Rivers (49), Kaduna (39), Edo (31), Enugu (30), Delta (11), Niger (10), Katsina (9), Ebonyi (5), Gombe (3), Jigawa (3), Plateau (2), Nassarawa (2), Borno (2), Kano (1), Abia (1)
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 12,051, followed by Abuja (2,433), Oyo (1,689), Edo (1,593), Delta (1,348), Rivers (1,343), Kano (1,303), Ogun (1,063), Kaduna (946), Katsina (655), Ondo (606), Borno (586), Gombe (527), Bauchi (519), Ebonyi (508), Plateau (499), Enugu (469), Abia (402), Imo (359), Jigawa (321).
Kwara state has recorded 311 cases, Bayelsa (299), Nasarawa (238), Osun (212), Sokoto (153), Niger (135), Akwa Ibom (134), Benue (121), Adamawa (100), Anambra (93), Kebbi (86), Zamfara (76), Yobe (62), Ekiti (46), Taraba (27), while Kogi and Cross River state have recorded 5 cases each.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020.
|Date||Confirmed case||New cases||Total deaths||New deaths||Total recovery||Active cases||Critical cases|
|July 10, 2020||31323||575||709||20||12795||17819||7|
|July 9, 2020||30748||499||689||5||12546||17513||7|
|July 8, 2020||30249||460||684||15||12373||17192||7|
|July 7, 2020||29789||503||669||15||12108||17012||7|
|July 6, 2020||29286||575||654||9||11828||16804||7|
|July 5, 2020||28711||544||645||11||11665||16401||7|
|July 4, 2020||28167||603||634||6||11462||16071||7|
|July 3, 2020||27564||454||628||12||11069||15867||7|
|July 2, 2020||27110||626||616||13||10801||15693||7|
|July 1, 2020||26484||790||603||13||10152||15729||7|
|June 30, 2020||25694||561||590||17||9746||15358||7|
|June 29, 2020||25133||566||573||8||9402||15158||7|
|June 28, 2020||24867||490||565||7||9007||14995||7|
|June 27, 2020||24077||779||558||4||8625||14894||7|
|June 26, 2020||23298||684||554||5||8253||14491||7|
|June 25, 2020||22614||594||549||7||7822||14243||7|
|June 24, 2020||22020||649||542||9||7613||13865||7|
|June 23, 2020||21371||452||533||8||7338||13500||7|
|June 22, 2020||20919||675||525||7||7109||13285||7|
|June 21, 2020||20242||436||518||12||6879||12847||7|
|June 20, 2020||19808||661||506||19||6718||12584||7|
|June 19, 2020||19147||667||487||12||6581||12079||7|
|June 18, 2020||18480||745||475||6||6307||11698||7|
|June 17, 2020||17735||587||469||14||5967||11299||7|
|June 16, 2020||17148||490||455||31||5623||11070||7|
|June 15, 2020||16658||573||424||4||5349||10885||7|
|June 14, 2020||16085||403||420||13||5220||10445||7|
|June 13, 2020||15682||501||407||8||5101||10174||7|
|June 12, 2020||15181||627||399||12||4891||9891||7|
|June 11, 2020||14554||681||387||5||4494||9673||7|
|June 10, 2020||13873||409||382||17||4351||9140||7|
|June 9, 2020||13464||663||365||4||4206||8893||7|
|June 8, 2020||12801||315||361||7||4040||8400||7|
|June 7, 2020||12486||260||354||12||3959||8173||7|
|June 6, 2020||12233||389||342||9||3826||8065||7|
|June 5, 2020||11844||328||333||10||3696||7815||7|
|June 4, 2020||11516||350||323||8||3535||7646||7|
|June 3, 2020||11166||348||315||1||3329||7522||7|
|June 2, 2020||10819||241||314||15||3239||7266||7|
|June 1, 2020||10578||416||299||12||3122||7157||9|
|May 31, 2020||10162||307||287||14||3007||6868||7|
|May 30, 2020||9855||553||273||12||2856||6726||7|
|May 29, 2020||9302||387||261||2||2697||6344||7|
|May 28, 2020||8915||182||259||5||2592||6064||7|
|May 27, 2020||8733||389||254||5||2501||5978||7|
|May 26, 2020||8344||276||249||16||2385||5710||7|
|May 25, 2020||8068||229||233||7||2311||5524||7|
|May 24, 2020||7839||313||226||5||2263||5360||7|
|May 23, 2020||7526||265||221||0||2174||5131||7|
|May 22, 2020||7261||245||221||10||2007||5033||7|
|May 21, 2020||7016||339||211||11||1907||4898||7|
|May 20, 2020||6677||284||200||8||1840||4637||7|
|May 19, 2020||6401||226||192||1||1734||4475||7|
|May 18, 2020||6175||216||191||9||1644||4340||7|
|May 17, 2020||5959||388||182||6||1594||4183||7|
|May 16, 2020||5621||176||176||5||1472||3973||7|
|May 15, 2020||5445||288||171||3||1320||3954||4|
|May 14, 2020||5162||193||168||3||1180||3815||4|
|May 13, 2020||4971||184||164||6||1070||3737||4|
|May 12, 2020||4787||146||158||6||959||3670||4|
|May 11, 2020||4641||242||152||10||902||3589||4|
|May 10, 2020||4399||248||142||17||778||3479||4|
|May 9, 2020||4151||239||127||11||745||3278||4|
|May 8, 2020||3912||386||118||10||679||3115||4|
|May 7, 2020||3526||381||108||4||601||2818||4|
|May 6, 2020||3145||195||104||5||534||2507||1|
|May 5, 2020||2950||148||99||5||481||2370||4|
|May 4, 2020||2802||245||94||6||417||2291||2|
|May 3, 2020||2558||170||88||2||400||2070||2|
|May 2, 2020||2388||220||86||17||351||1952||2|
|May 1, 2020||2170||238||69||10||351||1751||2|
|April 30, 2020||1932||204||59||7||317||1556||2|
|April 29, 2020||1728||196||52||7||307||1369||2|
|April 28, 2020||1532||195||45||4||255||1232||2|
|April 27, 2020||1337||64||41||0||255||994||2|
|April 26, 2020||1273||91||41||5||239||994||2|
|April 25, 2020||1182||87||36||3||222||925||2|
|April 24, 2020||1095||114||33||1||208||855||2|
|April 23, 2020||981||108||32||3||197||753||2|
|April 22, 2020||873||91||29||3||197||648||2|
|April 21, 2020||782||117||26||3||197||560||2|
|April 20, 2020||665||38||23||1||188||466||2|
|April 19, 2020||627||86||22||2||170||436||2|
|April 18, 2020||541||48||20||2||166||356||2|
|April 17, 2020||493||51||18||4||159||317||2|
|April 16, 2020||442||35||13||1||152||277||2|
|April 15, 2020||407||34||12||1||128||267||2|
|April 14, 2020||373||30||11||1||99||263||2|
|April 13, 2020||343||20||10||0||91||242||2|
|April 12, 2020||323||5||10||0||85||228||2|
|April 11, 2020||318||13||10||3||70||238||2|
|April 10, 2020||305||17||7||0||58||240||2|
|April 9, 2020||288||14||7||1||51||230||2|
|April 8, 2020||274||22||6||0||44||226||2|
|April 7, 2020||254||16||6||1||44||204||2|
|April 6, 2020||238||6||5||0||35||198||2|
|April 5, 2020||232||18||5||1||33||194||2|
|April 4, 2020||214||5||4||0||25||185||0|
|April 3, 2020||209||25||4||2||25||180||0|
|April 2, 2020||184||10||2||0||20||162||0|
|April 1, 2020||174||35||2||0||9||163||0|
|March 31, 2020||139||8||2||0||9||128||0|
|March 30, 2020||131||20||2||1||8||121||0|
|March 29, 2020||111||22||1||0||3||107||0|
|March 28, 2020||89||19||1||0||3||85||0|
|March 27, 2020||70||5||1||0||3||66||0|
|March 26, 2020||65||14||1||0||2||62||0|
|March 25, 2020||51||7||1||0||2||48||0|
|March 24, 2020||44||4||1||0||2||41||0|
|March 23, 2020||40||10||1||1||2||37||0|
|March 22, 2020||30||8||0||0||2||28||0|
|March 21, 2020||22||10||0||0||1||21||0|
|March 20, 2020||12||4||0||0||1||11||0|
|March 19, 2020||8||0||0||0||1||7||0|
|March 18, 2020||8||5||0||0||1||7||0|
|March 17, 2020||3||1||0||0||0||3||0|
|March 16, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 15, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 14, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 13, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 12, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 11, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 10, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 9, 2020||2||1||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 8, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 7, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 6, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 5, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 4, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 3, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 2, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 1, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|February 29, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|February 28, 2020||1||1||0||0||0||1||0|
Nigeria only hit 56% of its target revenue in first five of months of 2020
Nigeria’s earnings in the period were N1.48 trillion which is 56% off its main target.
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed revealed that Nigeria was only able to meet 56% of its target revenue from January to May as the global oil price crash affected government revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigeria’s earnings in the period were N1.48 trillion which is 56% off its main target, crude oil revenues accounted for half of Nigeria’s revenues, while non-oil revenues made up the rest in the first 5 months of the year.
On Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new 2020 revised budget of N10.8 trillion with the crude oil benchmark reduced from $57 per barrels in the earlier budget to $25 in the new budget.
The Minister said the budget had to be revised because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria’s economy. She added that Nigeria’s crude oil production would be an average of 1.86 million barrels per day next year and rise to 2.09 million the following year.
“Although Nigeria’s total production capacity is 2.5 million barrels per day, current crude production is about 1.4 million barrels per day — in compliance with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ production quota – and an additional 300,000 barrels per day of condensates, totaling about 1.7 million barrels per day,” she said.