It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the fifth Lagos and London Capital Markets in
Partnership Conference. This event is particularly dear to me as it comes at an interesting and pivotal
time in the history of our Nation’s Economy and the Global Financial Markets. That many of you have
travelled long distances to be here underscores the importance of today’s discussions.
Over the last few years, Nigeria’s economic landscape has been particularly challenging for the capital
market. The combined effects of the 2015 national elections, slump in commodity prices, global
economic slowdown, recession and FX market illiquidity have resulted in a dearth of Initial Publicby c.95%,
from N43.95Bn to N2.59Bn. However, in 2017 we saw a significant rebound as listing
activity (IPO and Follow on offers) increased 1,622.03% from N2.59 Billion in 2016 to N44.51 Billion
The Nigerian capital market is not peculiar in this regard. Global listing activity (IPOs and Follow-On
offers) in 2017 came to c.US$818Bn (from 1,483 IPOs and 3,529 FOs) a rebound of 17.99% from a
22.32% dip in 2016. African Equity Capital Markets (ECM) recorded an increase in volume and value
in 2017 with 49% growth in total ECM transaction value and 17% growth in IPO volumes from the
2016 four-year low. Market recovery was largely driven by South Africa, with contribution from
Egypt, Tunisia and renewed listing activity in Namibia.
The Global outlook for 2018 remains positive on the basis of resilience in the US, economic stability
in Europe, and significant increases in market activity of emerging economies. Primary markets
activities on the NSE in 2018 has not continued the pace of resurgence we saw in 2017, although the
pipeline remains strong. The 2017 Primary markets activities were dominated mostly by
supplementary offers, listings by introduction, debt issuances, mergers and divestments. The market
recorded an uptick as Equity market capitalization grew by 42.12% in 2017 closing the year at
N13.62tn compared to N9.54tn in 2016. With these feat, The NSE emerged the star of Sub-Saharan
Africa markets and one of the top three best performing World Federation of Exchanges’ markets of
The Nigerian economy exited recession with a marginal growth of 0.83% in 2017 and is expected to
grow by 2.5% in 2018 based on the World Bank’s projections. This optimistic outlook is also evident
in the NSE’s trading activities with cumulative transactions from January to April increasing by
114.22% from N509.38 billion recorded in 2017 to N1.091 trillion in 2018. Evidently showing that
Nigeria remains top of mind on the African continent for investors!
Much of this was the result of improved macro-economic conditions driven by higher global oil prices
and increased domestic oil output, as well as The Exchanges’ keen focus on strategy execution and
enhanced advocacy efforts, positively impacting the business of The Exchange during the period.
Offers (IPOs) in the Nigerian capital market. Between 2014 and 2016, capital raised on the NSE fell
One of the Exchange’s advocacy efforts with the Federal Government in ensuring significant reforms
to improve the business environment also aided the country’s move 24 places to 145th in the World
Bank’s 2018 Ease of doing business report.
The NSE also continues to increase its product offerings to the investing public with the listing of
securities such as the $300m Diaspora Bonds and $3bn Eurobonds in 2017, the N100billion Federal
Government Ijarah Sukuk and the Sovereign Green Bond; adding to the nation’s funding options to
catalyse the rebound of our economy and offer investment alternatives to the vast majority of
Nigerians. It is noteworthy to mention that Nigeria’s inaugural issue in the Green Finance market
earned a credential as the first ever Sovereign issuance in Africa. This represents a new stage in
development of Nigerian capital markets and opens the way for further corporate issuance and
international investment. The NSE is playing a key role to help develop this enormous opportunity
for Nigeria and fulfil one of our key objectives as a member of the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange
The theme of this conference – “Attracting Global capital to drive Nigeria’s Economic Reforms and
sustainable Growth” – is quite topical for the Country at this time. As the Government grapples with
the task of articulating a clear economic blue print for the short to midterm within which credible
fiscal and monetary policies can emerge, the reality of the need to leverage and embrace the
globalisation of economies and financial markets becomes clearer.
Capital Markets are critical to sustainability of growth and development in an Economy. It is my
strong belief that one of the things that Nigeria (and Africa) needs to sustain its growth, is a solid and
vibrant capital market ecosystem that will attract investment and unlock the potential that exists in
the economy. Just yesterday, the NSE ASI witnessed a reversal of all the gains made in 2018 and is
currently down 0.36%. Since the market is a leading indicator, we cannot take our eyes off the ball
and must continue to press for positive catalysts that will propel the economy to new heights.
Former US Federal Reserve Chairman, Janet Yellen once said: “the financial sector is vital to the
economy. A well-functioning financial sector promotes job creation, innovation, and inclusive
economic growth”. The Capital markets therefore continues to be a driving force behind the
development of strong and sustained financial systems.
Our collaboration with the London Stock Exchange is deliberate and strategic. It is geared at
encouraging seamless cross-border access between our Capital Markets to ultimately drive deeper
capital markets that enable capital formation for Businesses and Governments; create larger liquidity
pools and greater competitiveness for our investors; and enhance capacity and promote diversity of
investment products to meet the needs of a wide range of investors and issuers. This is evidenced by
the FGN Sovereign FX denominated $1 billion Eurobond on The Nigerian Stock Exchange and London
Stock Exchange recently, and a strong pipeline of corporate Eurobonds.
Creating and sustaining the growth trajectory of our exchanges, capital markets, financial markets,
economies and the continent as a whole, requires a strong commitment from each and every one of
us here today. It is not an easy journey, but it is one we have no choice but to embark upon,
individually and collectively, in order to guarantee our competitive advantage in today’s
interconnected world. We must use this opportunity to partner with each other, to enable usfurther
unlock our growth potential, and advance the development of our financial and capital markets.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I am confident that the insightful deliberations at this
conference will drive the level of engagement and idea generation that will strengthen our capital
markets partnership and reinforce the drive of Federal, States and Corporates in accessing the deep
pool of capital inherent in the Nigerian Capital Market and on the London Bourse. I have no doubt
that we will be better positioned to attract the deep pool of capital required to drive the country’s
much needed Economic Reforms and sustainable Growth. Thank you for your attention .
Oscar Onyema,the CEO Nigerian Stock Exchange,stated the above during the 5th dual listing conference organized
by NSE and London Stock Exchange at Wheat-baker Hotel ,Ikoyi ,Lagos last Friday