Nigerian stock exchange highlights opportunities for funds raising for SMEs and other businesses
The traditional role of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE or The Exchange) as an enabler of capital flow from areas of surplus to deficit holds good promise for businesses as access to capital is the prime challenge faced by companies active in various sectors of the economy. This was disclosed at a webinar hosted by The Exchange in collaboration with Odu’a Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday, 11 November 2020.
The event themed, Capital Raising in a Pandemic, was held in furtherance of The Exchange’s commitment to educating business promoters on the alternative funding opportunities available in the capital market to catalyse business growth. This comes on the back of the significant reduction in major sources of revenue for key sectors of the economy occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other macroeconomic issues which have negatively impacted business across various industries and highlighted the need for capital raising opportunities.
Speaking at the event, the Divisional Head, Listings Business, NSE, Mr. Olumide Bolumole commented, “The Nigerian Stock Exchange as a platform for capital formation has products and services to support capital raising across economic sectors. For instance, despite the impact of COVID 19, the NSE has facilitated needed financing with about ₦1Tn in capital raised by governments and corporates between January and October across various asset classes. With the All Share Index as at the 9th of November appreciating by over 20% since the start of the year and the Fixed Income market capitalisation currently over ₦17Tn, the market has depth to accommodate required capital.”
The webinar also featured a presentation from the Head of Department, Branch Network, NSE, Mr. Adeyemi Osoba, who shed some more light on the NSE Growth Board as a viable option for capital raising, especially for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. He stated, “The Growth Board was launched in January 2020 as part of the NSE’s initiatives to elevate the Nigerian Capital market and meet the needs of businesses at every phase of their lifecycle. It provides a platform for fast-growing companies to access cost-effective, long-term capital while enjoying relaxed entry criteria, reduced post-listing obligations and a wide range of value added services.”
In delivering his keynote address, the National Vice President, The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dele Oye, Esq, expressed the association’s support of the Growth Board and encouraged SMEs to take advantage of The Exchange’s platform to access the right-sized capital required to scale their businesses. Other panellists at the event were Mr Femi Ademola, Executive Director, Cordros Capital; Mr Azeez Oluwole, Managing Director, Farmkonnect Nigeria; Chief Kola Akoshile, President, Odu’a Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Mr. Owolabi of Capital Asset Ltd; with Dr. Sam Ikoku, Executive Chairman, Blackstone Private Equity Limited serving as moderator.
The Exchange continues to deliver on its promise to provide a platform for issuers and investors to meet their financial objectives even in the most difficult times. Asides maintaining seamless working and trading over the past seven months, NSE has ensured continuous interaction with stakeholders and showcased remarkable resilience that has improved investor confidence. This is evidenced by the increasing activity witnessed in the equities market with the All Share Index currently at 33,286 and Year-to-Date return of 23.9% as at 11 November 2020.