Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, on Monday expressed optimism that capital market activities would witness a turnaround in 2016 due to its various initiatives.
Director-General of the SEC, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, who said this in Lagos stressed that the market would perform better in 2016.
Gwarzo said that the commission was looking at ways to stabilise the market and encourage domestic investors to return to the market.
He said that SEC was committed to increasing domestic investors’ participation in the market, noting that the market was now dominated by foreign investors.
“The foreign investors, like we say, is hot money and sometimes when they are not comfortable even though fundamentals are still okay, they will try to either walk away or hold on,” Gwarzo said.
He listed some initiatives the commission pursued during the year to bring in domestic investors to include e-dividend payment, direct settlement and dematerialisation.
The director-general said that SEC had also embarked on public enlightenment to educate investors on gains of investing in the market.
“The market is also happy with some of the enforcement actions we have been taking which shows that anybody that does wrong in the market will be punished,” he said.
Speaking on the market downturn, Gwarzo said that he was not happy with the current developments in the market.
“I’m not too happy the way the market is today, but it’s a market that goes up and down. It’s not a market that is continuously growing.
“If you invest one million naira in the market, it’s not sacrosanct that it will now turn back to be N1.5 million or N1.2 million. It’s a market that can go up and go down,” Gwarzo said.
He said that the market situation was a reflection of economic situation of the country.
Gwarzo described the development as a normal trend in all capital markets in the world.
According to him, the commission is also engaging government in terms of some fiscal incentives that can be provided to enhance activities in the market.
He said that the National Investor Protection Fund (NIPF), inaugurated by the commission, was another initiative that would boost investor confidence in the market.
“The NIPF we have set up will give a lot of comfort to the investors even though it may not ameliorate their problems 100 per cent, but we believe it will give them some comfort,” he said.
He said that investors, who lost money in the market, could be compensated through the fund.
“I’m very positive that the market will be better next year’’.

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