The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has called on ICT companies operating in Nigeria to take advantage of enormous opportunities available at the nation’s capital market to aid their expansion strategies.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema speaking at a Sectorial Dinner with CEOs of companies in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) said that the stock market provides various benefits to corporate entities, such as ICT, in the provision of long-term capital.
Onyema encouraged the companies to utilise the opportunities available at the capital market as part of the financing mix for their various businesses.
According to the CEO, “the current statistics show African population at about a billion, which is expected to double by 2050. An estimated 422 million Africans are under 15 years old, representing one of the largest international business opportunities for the ICT sector”.
Onyema noted that as Nigeria’s ICT sector grows, he firmly believed that NSE was the right platform to raise capital towards this expansion.
He noted that the Exchange was emerging stronger and more focused and that despite recent setbacks, “we look forward to sustained recovery in the capital market as it continues to be reformed and strengthened. We want to ensure that all of your companies, listed or prospective, realise the value of listing on The Exchange, and indeed forum such as this is vital in that effort”.
He disclosed that the Exchange was working to launch more products in the medium term and that by 2013/2014 it plans to create an Options Market that will trade stock options, bond options and index options.
This according to him, would be followed by a futures market in 2016 that will comprise currency futures and interest rate futures.
Onyema noted that the Exchange has created a Listing Sales and Retention Department for targeted business development efforts geared at increasing the number and diversity of companies listed on the market.
He said the arrangement was a clear departure from the past when the Exchange waited for quoted companies to submit applications for listings.
“Now the Exchange’s staff devote considerable time to listings sales as well as relationship management with our existing companies, supported by our network of 13 branches. In addition, our branches provide easy access to information and undertake investor outreach and education initiatives at the grassroots,” Onyema said.
He noted that within the current year, the Exchange also plans to focus on revitalising trading of its listed bonds, both government and corporate, adding that in February the Exchange held its maiden investor relations forum in partnership with Africa Practice,a leading communications consultancy, to shed light on the many practical benefits of using Investor Relations, and a suite of value added services will be rolled out in the course of the year.