NASD OTC market attracts more firms

More securities are set to be traded on the NASD Plc over-the-counter market as investors increasingly become aware of the benefits of the OTC market.

The Chief Executive Officer, NASD OTC Plc, Mr. Bola Ajomale, said this in Lagos on Thursday while briefing journalists on the progress the market had made in the last few months.

Inaugurated in July, 2013, the NASD is an alternative trading platform created by the National Association of Securities Dealers to bring more liquidity to Nigeria’s capital market.

The platform was also licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to trade a broad range of instruments over-the-counter, including bonds and securities not listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

According to Ajomale, the NASD OTC platform has continued to generate interest and is bound to witness increased activities.

For instance, he said the securities of two more firms, SWAP Technology TelecommsPlc and BGL Plc, would now be traded on the NASD OTC market, bringing the number of traded securities to eight.

The NASD OTC had commenced operations with four companies – Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc, Food Concepts Plc and Industrial and General Insurance Plc with Consolidated Breweries Plc and GeofluidsPlc being admitted later.

Ajomale added, “In a very short period we’ve got 45 stockbroking firms, who have been registered and licensed to trade with us.”

In addition to this, he said 15 more stockbroking firms were approved on Monday to take the figure to 60.

He added that by the year-end, 75 stockbroking firms were expected to operate on the platform.

Also, he said 17 issuing houses had been registered to operate on the OTC market with 10 more expected before the end of the year.

He, however, stressed that while the increase in the number of operators and securities on the OTC platform was good for the capital market, the fact that more investors and operators were accepting the platform was the major milestone.

This, he said, was because when more investors turned to the NASD OTC market, the company would be in a better position to fulfil its goal of creating more liquidity in the Nigerian capital market, and becoming the “hub of first call for capital market formation in West Africa.”

He said the platform had been able to create liquidity for investors of some public companies that were not listed on the NSE by allowing them to trade their shares on the platform without price restrictions.

He said, “So far so good, the market is gradually finding its feet. We have created the opportunity for investors to see one another and it is now left for them to sell and have some liquidity unlike before when there was no platform that could provide transparency and safety for them to trade their unlisted shares.”

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