The Ag. Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mounir Gwarzo has assured Nigerians that the Commission will continue to ensure that the market remains vibrant, in order to attract investors both locally and internationally.
Gwarzo gave the assurance when he received members of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) visited him in the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
He said the current management will strive to develop domestic investment from retail and institutional investors.
“We will step up to reach out to the market and improve investment. On the international side, what is most important is the enabling environment. Right now the rules are very friendly and that is why we keep changing them from time to time to suit best practices and attract investors”, he stated.
Earlier in his remarks, President and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Institute, Mr. Albert Okumagba lamented the over 60 percent control of the Nigerian stock market by foreign investors.
Okumagba said, the current situation were over 60 percent of the market is control by foreign investors give serious cause for concern, saying: “The level of participation of our locals is effectively less than 3 million when ideally over 80 million of our people should be in the market.
“Our coverage of insurance assets in Nigeria is not up to two percent of insurable assets; if we can increase from two to 20 percent and then to 50 percent, we will be shocked at the kind of positive contribution that insurance can make”.
Mr. Okumagba further disclosed that for pension, coverage is about 8 percent, noting that if Nigerians, who are supposed to be captured by the Pension Reform Act come on stream, we can do multiples of the N4.7 that has been mobilized.
He said, “We have opportunities for our own domestic investors; the pension companies have over $25 billion, which they have taken as money and even though they have a room of about 25 percent to invest, only about 12 percent of that has been invested.”
‘We believe that some of the factors that are holding the market down today will soon ease off, like issues of security, election and crude oil prices; once the elections are done with, the market will begin to stabilize’ he added.
The Ag DG of SEC, Mr. Mounir harped on investors education, both for retail and institutional, to improve the level of investment from the domestic side.
The meeting addressed issues that will engender better interface between the regulators and the operators, as they both expressed the desire for the capital market to play a deeper role in funding gaps in the federal budget and also fund infrastructure gaps.