JP Morgan, leading global financial player has expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Nigerian capital market adding that it is one of the reasons why it continues to attract international investors.

Representative of JP Morgan, Nick Long disclosed this during a visit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) headquarters in Abuja at the weekend.

Acting director-general of SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk on her part, assured foreign investors of the safety of their investments in the Nigerian capital market, saying all necessary controls are in place to ensure that the market is dynamic, free, fair and transparent for participants.

Uduk said the Commission has embarked on several initiatives in a bid to ensure that investors in the market derive the benefits therein. She said the implementation of the Capital Market Master Plan has led to significant changes in the market.

According to her, some of these implemented initiatives are dematerialisation of share certificates, recapitalisation of capital market operators, establishment of the National Investors Protection Fund and inauguration of its board, as well as launch of the Corporate Governance Scorecard.

“Others are implementation of the e-Dividend Mandate Management System, establishment of Complaint Management Framework, transaction cost reduction, implementation of the direct cash settlement and the introduction of non-interest capital market products,” she said.

The acting DG disclosed that the Commission has put in place a robust investor protection machinery with severe sanctions on infractions of securities laws.

“The implementation of this regime has led to the closure of various Ponzi schemes as well as the recovery of millions of naira belonging to innocent investors. SEC champions zero tolerance on infractions and we have a range of sanctions depending on the level of infraction and how egregious the breach is, ranging from warnings, fines, suspensions, withdrawal of registrations and jail terms.

“The idea is to improve transparency in the market and ensure that investors are safe. SEC champions zero tolerance on infractions and we have a range of sanctions depending on the level of infraction and how egregious the breach is, ranging from warnings, fines, suspensions, withdrawal of registrations and jail terms. The idea is to improve transparency in the market and ensure that investors are safe”, she said.

Uduk said the Commission has surveillance mechanisms in place to detect possible suspicious trading manipulation activities.