By Emmanuel Aziken, Editor
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is to intensify the promotion of Islamic finance as a way of boosting financial inclusion the president of the council of the exchange, Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo has said.
He spoke at the 58th Annual General Meeting, AGM of the NSE on Monday just as it was reported that the revenue of the exchange declined by eight per cent in the financial year ended Dec. 31 2018, due to uncertainties.
Meanwhile the bell to close trading on the floor on Monday was rung by 100 year old Akintola Williams, the only survivor among the brains who established the exchange almost 60 years ago.
Speaking at the AGM, Ogunbanjo, President of the National Council of the exchange, said the exchange would intensify the promotion of the growth and development of the Islamic finance industry, to boost financial inclusion.
Ogunbanjo said that the exchange would continue to intensify efforts with its stakeholders to on-board new financial instruments and maximise organisational value.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema, in his report said the exchange recorded a revenue of N7.67 billion, compared with N8.30 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2017.
He attributed the decline to uncertainties as investors sought guaranteed investment asset classes.
Onyema added that the listings revenue stream was the most impacted with a drop of 21 per cent to N1.4 billion during the period under review.
He stated that transaction fees influenced by capital market trends within the period, declined to N3.3 billion during the period under review.
According to him, the exchange witnessed a 47.6 per cent increase in foreign outflows of N642.65 billion, compared with N435.31 billion in the corresponding period in 2017.
He attributed the development to flight to quality by foreign investors to higher yielding assets with lower risks in developed countries.
Onyema noted that the situation was intensified by the political risks associated with the Nigerian presidential elections.
He stated that the Federal Government during the period borrowed N1.2 trillion to finance fiscal and infrastructure deficits.
The NSE chief added that State Governments and corporates raised a total of N157 billion from the NSE during the period under review.
“We believe this level of activity validates our position as a competitive capital-raising platform for both business and government issuers to finance various economic activities.
On 2019 outlook, he explained that the NSE future revenues and net incomes would continue to be influenced by key domestic and international market forces such as pricing, product features and regulatory changes.
Onyema said the company would strive to finalise the exchange demutualusation process, boost fixed income market segment and establish its exchange traded derivatives market.
“In order to properly serve our customers, we intend to measure our brand awareness and perception, which will inform our communications and engagement initiatives.
“We are confident that pursuing these initiatives in 2019 will boost the competitiveness of the NSE at a time when the Nigerian capital market is at inflection point,” he said.