The acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mary Uduk has commended FMDQ Securities Exchange Plc on its achievements so far, saying its entry has brought about healthy competition in the capital market.
Uduk who spoke with journalists at the Gold Awards and Dinner organised by FMDQ in Lagos weekend, said FMDQ has increased the tempo of activities in the capital market.
According to her, “They have created more activities in the market. A lot of areas that seemed dormant before now like the bond market has seen a lot of activities because of the active trading on FMDQ platform. They have done very well since they started six years ago”.
She disclosed that they have also partnered with the regulator in several areas of training like derivatives among others.
“Since their entry, there has been competition and we are excited about the competition. Investors and operators now have a choice of where to go and that is a good one for the market” Uduk said.
While commending FMDQ for attracting capital to the market, she disclosed that the Commission also has several initiatives in place to attract both local and foreign investors to the capital market.
For instance, she said, an important goal of the Capital Market Master Plan (2015-2025) is to transform the Nigerian capital market, making it competitive, while contributing its quota to developing the nation through funds mobilization. The Plan is hinged on four strategic themes, namely; Contribution to National Economy, Competitiveness, Market Structure and Regulation & Oversight.
In contributing to the National Economy, Uduk said the SEC, in conjunction with the market, has worked on initiatives that simplified the process of raising capital and reduced time to market. The recent efforts towards developing the Nigerian commodities ecosystem and the Fintech space are also important contributions to the Nigerian economy.
“In order to enhance market Competitiveness, the minimum capital requirements for capital market operators were raised, transaction costs have been reduced for both equities and fixed income segment of the market, a robust complaint management framework was introduced and various other initiatives are being implemented to enhance liquidity of the Nigerian capital market.
“Towards improving the Market Structure, minimum operating standards for all market operators have been implemented. Some of the ongoing initiatives such as the e-dividend, multiple subscription, direct cash settlement and electronic distribution of companies’ annual reports are geared towards achieving an innovative market structure.
On Regulation and Oversight, the Acting DG said the SEC has undertaken numerous initiatives to protect the interest of investors. A National Investor Protection Fund has been established, a Risk Based Supervision Framework is being implemented with focus on Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFI) and regulatory actions are often taken against illegal operators as well as violators of the corporate governance code.
According to Uduk, “Therefore, not only do we need capital inflow, we also have the market and the potential to optimise such flows. As we continue to improve on our macroeconomic, business and regulatory environment, we look forward to being able to retain more domestic capital and attract necessary foreign capital”.