By Dipo Olowookere
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema, has decried the low mutual fund assets to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio of the nation, attributing this to inadequate knowledge of investment products and the benefits for retail investors.
The NSE chief, while delivering his speech at the fourth NSE Market Data Workshop held in Lagos on Wednesday, said it was because of this gap that the exchange was looking to tap into the financial information market, which is believed to worth $50 billion, according to McKinsey estimates.
Mr Onyema informed participants of the event that, “The ratio of mutual fund assets to Nigeria’s GDP is also very low at less than one percent, despite the growth of mutual funds in the country in recent times.”
He further said despite the evolving needs of consumers demanding for financial information globally, Nigeria still has low inclination towards investments, according to a research by FSDH, which reported the savings ratio in Nigeria as one of the lowest among selected countries including China, India, Kenya, Malaysia, South Africa, United Kingdom, and USA.
According to him, “One major reason for this low retail investment appetite is the inadequate knowledge of investment products and the benefits for retail investors.”
He stressed that, “This underscores the importance of creating product offerings that promote diversity in investment, manage risk and make the information readily available to consumers.
“Exchanges and Data vendors are already responding to this increasing demand using new tools for market data products,” the stock market expert added at the workshop covered by Business Post.
At this year’s edition themed Partnerships, Products and the Customer, various speakers invited x-rayed the need for a more inclusive collaboration among capital market players and analyse information in market data and to inform the debate on the challenges of extracting this information from raw data to deliver a data product that is easily consumed to make an informed investment decisions.
As emphasized by Mr Onyema, “At the Nigerian Stock Exchange, we believe in customer centricity and we continue to foster partnerships with local stakeholders across the market, incorporating new technologies and expertise to drive market data by-products like derivatives and other structured products such as the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).”
“These structured products, which are based on the accuracy of the underlying stock prices, are being used by a broader set of professional users than those who participate on the stock exchange directly – to advise, monitor and/or validate transactions after they are executed.”
Continuing, he said, “As an organization known for best practices, we are also adding new practices to our culture. We are taking on bold new initiatives to change the Capital Market narrative in partnership with our peers within the wider financial industry, we can say with all certainty – the future is bright!”
Other speakers at the event were Dr Mary Akinyemi, a Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, University of Lagos; Ifeyinwa Kojo, the Country Sales Lead at Hewlett Packard; Mr Ramon Alayande, the Team Lead/Manager, Asset Management Implementation Support at InfoWARE Limited; Ms Osadare Eniola, the Business Development Manager at InfoWARE Limited; Mr Olufemi, the Head of Market Services at the NSE; amongst others.
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