Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Oteh Attributes Stock Market Recovery to Reforms

Ms.-Arunma-Oteh-28.jpg - Ms.-Arunma-Oteh-28.jpg
DG, SEC, Arunma Oteh
The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, has attributed the recovery of the Nigerian stock market in the last three years to the reform measures the financial sector regulators put in place.
The Nigerian stock market crashed from a peak of N12.6 trillion in March 2008 to a bottom of N4 trillion 2009. However, the market has recovered  and closed at N13 trillion in 2013.
Speaking in an interview with BBC News, Oteh said the recovery resulted from efforts made by regulators  to restore market integrity and ensure the market remains attractive to both domestic and international investors.
According to her,  the experience between 2008 and 2009 was horrible for many investors who saw their investments erode by significantly.
She explained that  in order to restore investors’ confidence, regulators embarked on various reforms.

“The reforms were varied. But the  most important  thing  was to establish that we(regulators) would not  permit anything that is wrong in the Nigerian stock market. Whether in  investing in companies or  investing  through exchanges in Nigeria because  nobody would ever accept to give another person  money if they know that  person will defraud them of that money. So that was first most important for us, what you will call the restoring the integrity of the market,” she said.

She noted that  the outcome of the reforms was very positive, which lifted  the market to new levels.
“Today our market has more than doubled since January 2010 when we started this reform programme. We are now above the levels that we had in  2008. We have a market capitalisation of N13 trillion give or take.  We have both domestic and foreign investors fully investing in the market in 50/50 basis,” she said.
The SEC boss noted that the Nigerian government and financial sector regulators should be commended for taking quick decisions that led to the recovery of the market.
“There was a global financial crisis and we the financial sector  regulators of  Nigeria took bold steps. If people needed to be brought to book for wrong doing, they were brought to book. If they needed to disgorged illegally gained funds, they disgorged them. Tell me any country that made decisions as quickly as the Nigerian financial sector made in terms of tackling corruption in that sector. We at SEC has a zero tolerance for anything that is improper because  the cost to us as Nigeria and cost to us the citizens  is huge and we should not permit it,” she said.
Source: ThisDayLive

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