The Nigerian capital market has lost over N5.97tn from July 2014 to date, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema, has said.
He also said 2016 would be a challenging year for the capital market and the Nigerian economy at large.
Onyema disclosed this at the NSE 2015 Market Recap and Outlook for 2016 event held in Lagos on Thursday.
According to him, the performances of the market indices are reflections of scenarios in the wider economy, but pointed out that the current state of the market was creating challenges as well as opportunities for existing and would-be investors.
The global economy, he noted, was poised for moderate economic growth this year.
The NSE boss said, “Among emerging markets, recession has materialised in Brazil and Russia, and the trend is likely to continue amid weakening oil and other commodity prices. The Nigerian stock market has already lost $30bn since July 2014.
“In Sub-Saharan Africa, while the recent performance of Nigeria and South Africa has been lacklustre, the overall region has weathered the commodity slump better than Latin America and elsewhere, with growth slated at 4.3 per cent in 2016, up from 3.8 per cent in 2015.
“This growth is expected to be supported by the moderate recovery in the global economy and growth in low-income developing countries, which compared to 2015, are projected to grow by one more percentage point to 5.8 per cent in 2016.”
Onyema said uncertainty and volatility dominated the forecast for this year and beyond as Nigeria struggles with commodity price shocks and the resultant impact on the naira.
This, he noted, was also in the context of adjusting to new government policies targeting import substitution, inclusive growth (lower income focus), security and eradicating corruption.
He said the capital market had an opportunity to effectively finance the Federal Government’s proposed budget deficit for 2016 and the implementation of its Medium Term Expenditure Framework, adding that with greater clarity on policy direction, “We anticipate the return of investors who had remained on the sidelines throughout 2015.
“This return is predicated upon the return of investor confidence as a result of effective implementation and communication of the government’s economic blueprint; credibility in monetary policy stance; relative stability in the macro economy (oil price stability above benchmark targets and increase in tax collection to Gross Domestic Product ratio, among others.); and improved security.”
Onyema said the NSE would focus on executing its strategy in order to continue to provide a credible platform for financing the economy.
To this end, he explained that the Exchange had the intention of intensifying engagement with the Federal Government, adding, “We have also prioritised three initiatives for 2016 aimed at achieving the Exchange’s three strategic objectives of increasing the number of new listings across five asset classes; increasing order flow in the five asset classes; and operating a fair and orderly market based on just and equitable principles.”
With the downturn from 2015 already continued into the New Year, he said the Exchange would continue its collaborative efforts with the new administration and other private sector players to create a framework for financing the nation’s infrastructure and capital requirements.
Additionally, Onyema said the bourse planned to work with the Federal Government to ensure that the appropriate message was conveyed to the investor community.
“We believe that taking a portfolio approach to investing provides the best risk-adjusted alternative for participating in the capital market. As such, we want to ensure that the NSE provides a repertoire of products that will allow investors to create well diversified portfolios of uncorrelated asset classes,” he said.