Contrary to the bearish sentiments in the secondary equities and bond market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, the primary market segment has recorded its most bullish performance in five years, jumping 44.2 percent in the first 11 months of 2018, over 2017 full year performance.
Specifically, new listing for government, corporate bonds and equities for the 11 months to November, 2018 stood at N1.555 trillion as against N1.04 trillion in the whole of 2017. But Financial Vanguard findings showed that the bullish primary market was public-sector driven as government securities recorded the highest listing on the Exchange with N1.2 trillion, thus accounting for almost 77 percent of the total primary market transactions listed on the Exchange or 10.7 percent of the total NSE market capitalisation in 2018, while the corporate bond and equities listing during the period stood at N354.9 billion, accounting for 23 percent of the total primary market transactions.
The government securities in 2017 stood at about N610.6 billion representing 58.8 percent of the total primary transactions listed on the Exchange or 4.5 percent of market capitalisation during the period. Further analysis of the new issues listed on the Exchange shows that corporate bonds and shares stood at N429.7 billion in 2017, thus accounting for 41.3 percent of the total value of primary transactions listed on the Exchange in 2017.
However, while some stock market stakeholders commended the primary market performance others said that the number of entities listed on the Exchange was not encouraging. They added that government should design incentives like tax cuts that would trigger more corporates to list on the Exchange while also educating them on the benefits of being a publicly quoted company.
The stakeholders stated that regulators in the capital market must interface with government to create appropriate regulation, tackle liquidity problem, and review other stringent listing rules. The stakeholders, who spoke on the dearth of Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the stock market, argued that aside government withdrawing from business, it must introduce fiscal and monetary policies that would stimulate private sector investment.
According to them, a deliberate policy on incentive would attract more multinational firms’ in the telecoms, and oil and gas sectors to float IPOs, which would ultimately resuscitate the primary market segment, improve the current illiquidity and deepen the market. Analysis of the new listing on the Exchange for the period under review shows that government securities stood at N1.2 trillion.