Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has stated that the creation of NG Clearing Limited, the first Central Counterparty (CCP) in West Africa, will complement the Federal Government’s efforts in expanding the economy and improving capital inflow.

A CCO is an entity that helps facilitate trading in various derivatives and equities markets.

Addressing participants at the official unveiling of the market infrastructure in Lagos yesterday, Mustapha also stated that the launch, which precedes the trading of the first exchange-traded derivatives in the Nigerian capital market, would open new opportunities for investors and help deepen financial inclusion.

However, he stated that while settling transactions between multiple parties can help accelerate the nation’s economic growth, there is a need for market players to guard against risks that may arise in the settlement process.

Therefore, he urged market stakeholders to ensure that the market is robust and well capitalised to absorb risks arising from default and external shock as witnessed in the 2019 financial crisis.

Also speaking, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Zinab Ahmed said the capital market has a critical role of meeting the infrastructure needs of the nation, including mobilising medium to long term funds crucial to the nation’s economic growth.

She said a robust capital market correlates strongly with engender growth, economic stability and a more competitive economy.

According to her, with the establishment of NG clearing Limited as a CCOP in Nigeria, the country is assured of a more speedy economic recovery post pandemic.

“We hope to attain a better risk management system and a stronger financial market. We are confident that our market will be bigger, safer and stronger. It will bring opportunities for investors and position the market for global competitiveness.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian stock market reversed previous gains to close on a downturn yesterday, due to sell-offs in shares of Dangote Cement and 14 others, as the market declined by N391 billion.

In summary, the All-Share Index (ASI) declined by 749.94 absolute points, representing a decrease of 1.77 per cent, to close at 41,685.22 points. Similarly, the overall market capitalisation value lost N391 billion to close at N21.751 trillion.

The market negative performance was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks, which are; Dangote Cement, UACN, Nigerian Exchange (NGXGroup), May & Baker Nigeria and Cadbury Nigeria.

Afrinvest Limited said: “In the final trading session, we expect an extension of today’s bearish performance, barring any positive driver.”

However, the market breadth closed positive, recording 22 gainers as against 15 losers. Skyway Aviation Handling Company recorded the highest price gain of 9.66 per cent to close at N4.88, per share. Oando followed with a gain of 8.83 per cent to close at N4.93 and Wapic Insurance went up 8.51 per cent to close at 51 kobo, per share.