DESPITE LOCKDOWN, STOCK MARKET INVESTORS GAIN N897BN
Notwithstanding the lockdown the Nigerian economy witnessed in April over the ravaging CODIV-19 pandemic, the stock market, boosted by the remote trading via Fintech, recorded a gain of N897bn during the month. The Federal Government had ordered restriction of movements in Lagos, Ogun States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Activities on the stock market opened the trading month at N11.1tn in market capitalisation and 21,300.47 in index on April 1. It closed at N11.997tn and 23,021.01 index points on April 30 and thus made a gain of about N897bn or 8.08 per cent. The All-Share Index also grew by 1,720.54 basis points or 8.08 per cent.
The index measures the performance of the stock market and also reflects how prices of stocks have moved. This in turn determines how much investors made as gains or losses. To maintain the integrity of the market and in order for it to continue to stimulate economic growth, the Nigerian Stock Exchange activated its business continuity plan on March 23. Through the activation, the exchange had continued trading during normal hours and days by providing remote trading access for dealing member firms through FIX Protocol and Virtual Private Network platforms.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission Director General, Mary Uduk, the capital market community has put measures in place to ensure the market does not shut down. She had said, “The Nigerian Stock Exchange is continuing with trading. The FMDQ and all the exchanges are actually continuing and everything is going well. “In the past, we talked a lot about financial technology and how it has disrupted the market but now its COVID-19 that has so disrupted the market, disrupted everything the way it is and, therefore, as human beings, we have to adapt to be able to ensure that our lives continue and not allow COVID-19 to put our lives on hold, and therefore we are leveraging on technology.
“Initially people were afraid of technology but right now, it has become a saving grace given the COVID-19. “Most of us are leveraging technology. We have put our Business Continuity Plan in process; staff are working remotely. We are interacting with market operators.” She added that using technology platforms, staff meetings and regulatory activities went on fine during the period of the lockdown.