No fewer that 12 companies listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) have raised fresh capitals by way of rights issue from the nation’s bourse to the tune of N268.7b from rights issue in 18 months.
Besides, the private sector’s efforts at increasing its fortunes from the bourse by way of bond remained subdued when compared to bullish activities on government’s bond, though gained a marginal rise to N14.5 billion.
Meanwhile, a significant portion of the bond and commercial papers issued in 2017, was executed by commercial merchant banks.
The disclosure, made by the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria (AIHN) its inaugural annual dinner held in Lagos, at the weekend, showed the high level of liquidity in the system and how investors’ preference has remained skewed against private sector instruments.
The AIHN President, Sunnie Ayere, while speaking at the event also noted that corporate eurobond and commercial paper raised in the nation’ s financial market had hit $1.4 billion and N86.5 billion respectively.
Ayere assured that the association would continue to stay ahead of trends in order to remain relevant in the market, adding: “We will continue to deploy innovations in our operations to meet the demands of our partners and clients.
“We are confident that we can help to continue to shape the industry’s transformation into a more vibrant one and continue to strengthen the association’s position in the industry value chain.”
Speaking on the theme: “The Capital Market as a Catalyst for Sustainable Development,“ the guest speaker and Chairman of Coronation Merchant Bank, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, stressed the need for the country to have operator-led capital market development.
“We have to move from the regulator-led development to operator-led development. It is not possible for us to have the kind of development we need in this country if regulators continue to lead development.
“I am not saying that there should not be regulations for investment banking or Issuing Houses, as they are known here in our country, but it is better if they only set minimum standards,” he said.
He further canvassed for scaling up of minimum operating capital for the Issuing Houses, given the big-ticket transactions they are expected to handle, as well as the need for regulators to cut cost of transactions for raising capital.
He bemoaned the scarcity of skilled personnel in the investment banking space in Nigeria, saying: ”In United States of America, they have about 120,000 investment bankers and they drive economic growth and contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
We can do the same in this country, if we have more of investment bankers.
“They are very few in this country and the cost of training them is high. So, the AIHN has a lot to do here in terms of human capital development.”
Aig-Imoukhuede pointed out that the importance of Issuing Houses cannot be overemphasised as they have the ability to boost the economy by sourcing huge capital for the country’s development.
“Issuing Houses are the economic engine that helps to finance growth in terms of short and long-term capital requirements that companies, governments and entrepreneurs need to take their ideas into reality” he added.
The association, at the event, honoured eminent personalities that have impacted on the Nigerian capital market, including Otunba Olasubomi Balogun and Atedo Peterside with Lifetime Achievement Awards, while the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki and Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, got the Distinguished Service Awards.