Nigeria Exchange readies itself for an overhaul

A conclusion will soon be reached by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as discussions continue over how best to redevelop the country's financial markets and attract investment from overseas.

Over the years local banks and brokers have exercised considerable influence over the user-owned NSE, something the exchange aims to reverse in order to enable it to take on investments from external parties. A drive is also underway to initiate a potential listing as plans go ahead to develop a clearing house and a start to trading listed derivatives.

While not divulging any specific plans, Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive of the NSE told the Financial Times: "We're looking at making sure investors have open access to markets, and making it easier for foreign investors to access the market."  

Mr Onyema has been at the centre of attempts to clear the name of the NSE after it was swamped with accusations of mismanagement in 2011. The exchange may restructure to accommodate either investors or to conduct an initial public offering. Earlier in 2015 the regulator put forward a framework for demutualisation, advising that no single body could possess more than five per cent of the NSE's equity and voting rights. 

The exchange also intends to develop its equities, fixed income and exchange-trade funds business and start trading futures and options. Its equity trading platform has already been boosted by Nasdaq technology and the building of a clearing house is also in the pipeline.