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Nigerian Stock Exchange: Moving To Greater Height (Posted 25th Nov, 2001) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them.

Nigerian currency denominatinsNo doubt, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is emerging as one of the leading Stock Exchanges in Africa and in the global arena. At the 24th Annual President's Merit Award ceremony of the exchange held recently in Lagos, Mr. Akintola Williams, a reputable accountant and the doyen of the accountancy profession in Nigeria, who was also the Special Guest of Honour at the ceremony reiterated the body's decision to upgrade its Information Technology (IT) infrastructure, in a bid to sustain its rating as a leading market in the global scene.

The continued upgrading and improvement of the electronic and information technology infrastructure of NSE has over the years received global recognition for high returns on investment. In 1997, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) rated the NSE second in the world, based on its returns on investment and in 1999, NSE became number one in the world, while in 2001, Standard and Poor an international rating agency rated it number one among upcoming markets and number three in the world.

Premised on its mission statement, the NSE has invested heavily in IT and educational programmes to enhance market development and inculcate investment culture in the average Nigerian. Among the IT facilities is the Automated Trading System (ATS), which replaced the manual trading system, called the Call Over System on April 27, 1999, the incorporation of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) limited a subsidiary of the Exchange that handles clearing, settlement and delivery of transactions of the Exchange, done through an electronic process and computers.

Also of importance, is the establishment of a Trade Guarantee Fund (TGF). This has been put in place to settle transactions from overtrading. And enables it to achieve a T+3 settlement cycle, one of the best ever in any market. The T + 3 has reduced the risk profile of the market, boosted investors confidence in the market while allowing for completion of transactions in 3 working days.

The Cross Border Listing is another major achievement of the Exchange. The NSE has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with International Stock Exchange of London, Egyptian Stock Exchange, and Nairobi Stock Exchange. It earlier signed MOU with Johannesburg Stock Exchange of South Africa and Ghana Stock Exchange among others. This has made it possible to achieve the first cross border listing in African continent with the concurrent listing of M-NET/Super Sports linked shares. Since June 1987, NSE linked up with Reuters Electronic Contributor System for on-line global disseminations of Stock market information, trading Statistic, All-Share Index, company investment ratios, and company news.

As part of the continued upgrade of Nigerian Stock Exchange's system, it installed a new server and a Very Small Apertures Terminal (V-SAT) to enable it have remote access to its trading engine and support internet services to all its stakeholders.

Statistics Obtained from the NSE showed that so far, the exchange has approved new issues of 13.8 billion ordinary shares worth N39.7 billion for 21 corporate issuers this year as against N35.5 billion for the same periods and number of issues last year. Also, statistics showed that N9.9 billion was for public offers, N22.6 billion for right issues and N6.15 billion for mergers. The All-Share index also grew by 34.8 percent to close the first half of the year at 10937.26, a record mark.

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