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Yuguda Proposes Robust Sustainability Ratings to Attract Investors

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Robust Sustainability Ratings

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, has proposed the development of robust sustainability ratings and indices to track the performance of companies in the area of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) so as to attract investors in the green sector.

He said with the design of the sustainability ratings and indices, conscious investors would have available materials and information to help their investment choices.

Mr Yuguda also reiterated the need to facilitate the issuance of green and sustainable instruments in the Nigerian capital market, saying it will go a long way to assist in financing solar energy and other environmentally friendly infrastructure.

“Another important step in the journey of promoting sustainable investment principles is the development of robust sustainability ratings and indices to track companies’ ESG performance.

“This will further assist ESG conscious investors in making their investment choices. It will also simplify for investors and other stakeholders the process of analyzing information disclosed by issuers on sustainable finance,” the SEC DG said at an ESG roundtable themed Unlocking Value Through ESG Investing organised by the CFA Society Nigeria last Thursday.

He also tasked state governments to take advantage of the growing appetite to issue bonds to finance relevant environment-friendly projects, especially those that are revenue-generating and with reasonable social impact.

In Nigeria, only the federal government and a few corporate organisations have issued green bonds. The market is still largely untapped.

“Companies will also need to continuously disclose relevant information on their adoption of ESG principles. Such information will be critical for the investing public to make informed decisions about available investment choices and guide their asset allocation,” Mr Yuguda said.

According to the SEC Boss, given the global interest in ESG and the quantum of finance available to corporates and countries adopting the relevant principles, Nigerian issuers, governments and corporates, regulators, exchanges and other key stakeholders need to collaborate more to develop and issue necessary instruments to attract additional foreign capital into the country.

“With the enhanced focus on ESG considerations, much effort is now geared towards the preservation of biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, inclusiveness, reduced inequality, human capital and communities’ development, among others.

“Given the important position of the financial sector in the economy, one can understand why these issues are accorded high priority in the sector and why the sector has begun to consider sustainability in its practices.

“Sustainable finance has become a global brand as the world stands strongly together to promote the transition to a low-carbon, more resource-efficient economy and to build a financial system that spurs sustainable growth across nations.

“As we are all aware, finance has an enormous influence on sustainability; with players in the financial sector acting as catalysts for redefining the natural and business environments. They help support the transition from exploiting nature to restoring and maximizing nature’s valued gifts. Investing in sustainable instruments, therefore, has far-reaching benefits, further justifying why ESG advocacy and practices are gaining more popularity,” he stated.

The SEC chief said that as securities regulators, whose core mandate is to ensure investor protection, by maintaining fair, efficient and transparent markets and reducing systemic risks, his agency believes this role can further be harnessed through sustainable finance; and pledged to continue to strongly support the adoption of ESG principles and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to drive sustainable finance initiatives.

“I am really pleased and encouraged by the interest shown in ESG by the CFA Society Nigeria. I am also glad to inform you that the commission will be willing to collaborate further with the society on ESG and other relevant issues.

“With the quality of the membership of the society and the resources available to it, I am confident that such collaboration will result in positive outcomes for the Nigerian capital market and the economy as a whole.

“I have no doubt that collectively we will chart a common course for sustainable finance in the country that will be beneficial to the economy and the Nigerian people,” he added.

In her address, President of the CFA Society Nigeria, Ms Ibikun Oyedeji, explained that the webinar was organised in continuation of the association’s mandate of promoting global best practices for the investment industry, and to serve as a stimulus to advocate and promote awareness in Nigeria and Africa as a whole for the incorporation environmental, social and governance factors in business decisions and product development.

Ms Oyedeji stated that the webinar also provides an opportunity to accelerate the progress and demonstrate the purpose through responsible investing and aimed at equipping the practitioners and other stakeholders within our community with the right tools to navigate this evolving terrain.

She said, “The theme of the round table unlocking value through ESG investing implies that an untapped opportunity exists in business beyond profitability.

“Our clarion call today to the investment management industry is to put measures in place to ensure that product and services contribute to the sustainable development of our environment, employee working conditions, labour right, diversity discussions become our forefront while transparency and openness provide long term benefit for shareholders and our stakeholders are widely impressed.

“ESG factors have become increasingly important to institutional investors and there is a rising need for us invested professionals, regulators and other stakeholders to build a capacity in ESG focus investing which will remain relevant. This round table serves as a foundation for building the sustained effort in developing our local capacity in ESG investing.”

Ms Oyedeji said the CFA institute through the principle of responsible investing has created a best practice report and regions specific report that focuses on the Nigerian region to help investors understand how they can better integrate ESG factors into their equity, corporate funds and even the sovereign debt portfolio.

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Economy

Unlisted Securities Investors Gain N10bn in One Week 

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NASD Unlisted Securities Index

By Adedapo Adesanya

The 25th week of trading at the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange ended on a positive note last Friday.

In the five-day trading week, investors saw an expansion in their investment portfolios by 0.5 per cent or N10 billion as the market capitalisation closed at N1.011 trillion compared with the preceding week’s N1.010 trillion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) increased by 3.86 points to 768.27 points from 764.41 points.

Business Post reports that three stocks on the bourse contributed to the gains reported by unlisted securities investors last week as they overpowered the losses printed by two equities.

Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc appreciated in the week by 10 per cent to close at N198.00 per share in contrast to the preceding week’s N180 per share, Citi Trust Plc grew by 9.6 per cent to N6.85 per unit from N6.25 per unit, while Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc appreciated by 2.5 per cent to N14.80 per share from N14.44 per share.

Conversely, NASD Plc lost 8.7 per cent to settle at N13.68 per unit compared with the previous N15.00 per unit, while Nipco Plc depreciated by 5.2 per cent to N58.85 per share from N62.10 per share.

There was a 352.8 per cent increase in the total value of transactions in the week to N324.4 million from N69.9 million, while the volume of trades went down by 57.0 per cent to 6.0 million units from 2.6 million units just as the number of deals decreased by 8.1 per cent to 57 trades from 62 trades of the previous week.

At the close of the week, VFD Group Plc was the most traded security by volume with 1.2 million units, CSCS Plc traded 703,377 units, NASD Plc exchanged 350,935 units, CitiTrust Holdings Plc traded 214,800 units, while NDEP Plc sold 65,300 units.

In terms of the value of trades in the week, VFD Group Plc also topped with N293.5 million, NDEP Plc recorded N12.5 million, CSCS Plc traded N10.4 million, NASD Plc posted N5.3 million, while CSCS Plc had N1.5 million.

On a year-to-date basis, investors have transacted 3.2 billion units worth N21.3 billion in 1,428 deals, with the year-to-date gain at 3.4 per cent.

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Economy

Trading in Greif Nigeria Shares Halted for Smooth Winding up Process

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Greif Nigeria

By Dipo Olowookere

Holders of Greif Nigeria Plc shares have been prevented from trading the security on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited for now.

The embargo on the trading of the company’s stocks was placed on Monday, June 20, 2022, to ensure the process of winding up the organisation goes seamlessly.

Greif Nigeria, formerly known as Van Leer Containers Nigeria Plc, is in the business of making steel drums in the country. It also manufactures plastic containers and sheet metal products.

The company, which is a subsidiary of Greif International Holding BV, also offers services for steel punching and aluminium welding.

But lately, things have not been going on smoothly and it is in the process of winding up.

At its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on January 31, 2022, the shareholders of the firm authorised the board to begin the voluntary winding up of the company.

In accordance with Section 622 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 which states that a voluntary winding-up shall be deemed to commence at the time of the passing of the resolution for voluntary winding-up, the NGX Regulation (NGX RegCo) Limited, has notified “all trading license holders and the investing public that it has suspended trading in the shares of Greif Nigeria Plc effective on Monday, June 20, 2022, to ensure a smooth winding-up process.”

In a notice filed last week, the agency explained that this action was also in line with Section 624 of CAMA 2020 which provides that a transfer of shares, not being a transfer made to or with the sanction of the liquidator, and any alteration in the status of the members of the company, made after the commencement of a voluntary winding-up, shall be void.

Business Post reports that Greif Nigeria, which uses the ticker Vanleer on the NGX trading platform, has shares outstanding of 42.640 million units and a market capitalisation of N232.4 million as it last traded at N5.45 per unit.

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Economy

Stock Prices of CWG, 55 Others Shed Weight in One Week

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CWG Logo

By Dipo Olowookere

Transactions on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited last week closed bearish with a week-on-week decline of 0.14 per cent, with the All-Share Index (ASI) and the market capitalisation closing at 51,705.61 points and N27.875 trillion respectively.

Similarly, all other indices finished lower with the exception of the CG, premium, banking, pension, NGX Afr bank value, energy and lotus indices, which appreciated by 0.86 per cent, 1.50 per cent, 0.33 per cent, 0.40 per cent, 0.16 per cent, 0.32 per cent and 0.55 per cent respectively, while the Asem and growth indices closed flat.

In the week, 16 equities gained points compared with the 13 equities of the previous week, while 56 stocks shed weight in contrast to the 51 stocks of the preceding week, with 84 shares closing flat as against the 92 shares of the earlier week.

Data from the exchange showed that CWG was the worst-performing stock as it fell by 14.89 per cent to 80 kobo, RT Briscoe dropped 14.29 per cent to 48 kobo, GlaxoSmithKline depreciated by 13.28 per cent to N6.10, John Holt lost 11.27 per cent to 63 kobo, while Academy Press went down by 10.00 per cent to N1.17.

On the flip side, NAHCO finished the five-day trading week as the best-performing stock as it gained 10.53 per cent to settle at N8.40, Champion Breweries appreciated by 10.00 per cent to N3.74, MRS Oil Nigeria rose by 9.80 per cent to N16.25, FBN Holdings improved by 8.76 per cent to N10.55, while Royal Exchange climbed higher by 6.59 per cent to 97 kobo.

Last week, investors bought and sold 1.121 billion shares worth N13.703 billion in 22,350 deals versus the 940.892 million shares valued at N11.494 billion transacted a week earlier in 20,077 deals.

FCMB, UBA and Oando accounted for 407.770 million shares worth N2.009 billion in 2,181 deals, contributing 36.39 per cent and 14.66 per cent to the total trading volume and value respectively.

A further breakdown showed that financial stocks led the activity chart with the sale of 806.824 million equities worth N6.075 billion in 11,071 deals, accounting for 71.99 per cent and 44.33 per cent of the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

Energy shares recorded a turnover of 95.031 million units valued at N1.449 billion in 1,849 deals, while conglomerates goods equities traded 66.716 million units valued at N169.517 million in 733 deals.

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