Thursday, 23 May 2013

Nigeria abandons securities lending dream

nseThough the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) announced plans to begin securities lending back in July 2011, it has been reported that the country has given up on the programme.  In July 2011, Oscar Onyema, chief executive officer of the NSE, said the exchange was collaborating with industry participants to ensure a smooth launch of the new instruments. CEO of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Mustapha Chike-Obi, who was involved in developing the rules, promised that rules were being forwarded to the Securities and Exchange Commission in Nigeria for approval. One year later, the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) announced that it would send some of its members from Nigeria to the UK for training on securities lending in preparation.The scheme was created in 2011, after local training of stockbrokers proved insufficient to deal with the dense market. CIS president Mike Itegboje said at the time: "We are concluding arrangements and by the November training will commence. Stockbrokers should not miss the training so that when the securities lending becomes operational in the market, they will be actively involved." Things looked promising from thereon, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) releasing guidelines on foreign participation in securities lending. A letter from the bank addressed to all authorised dealers, custodians, stockbrokers and general public, detailed the processes for issuance of Certificate of Importation (CCI) for securities lending transactions. The bank directed all authorised dealers to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the circular. “The foreign borrower shall be issued a CCI upon importation of capital for the purchase of collateral securities. The foreign borrower reserves the discretion to keep the cash collateral in Nigeria in foreign currency. In this situation, no CCI shall be issued for the collateral,” the bank stated. Also, the Nigerian SEC approved United Bank of Africa (UBA) and Stanbic IBTC as securities lending agents for equities and bond transactions.  But it is now been reported that the exchange appears to have abandoned the initiative that promised a diversified market away from equity.  It was suggested that the recovery of the market was the reason behind the scrapping of plans. The NSE did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Source: Securities Lending Times

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