Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has reiterated its commitment to fostering the growth of the Nigerian Capital Market (NCM) through initiatives aimed at increasing investor participation in the stock market.

The NGX made this known during a virtual Retail Investor Webinar tagged ‘Increasing Retail Participation through Digitalisation’ in Lagos recently.

Divisional Head, Capital Markets at the NGX, Jude Chiemeka, said retail participation in the capital markets has continued to soar across the globe over the years and attributed the rise to the technological advancements and digital innovations made especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlighting a 2021 report titled ‘The rise of newly empowered retail investors’, Chiemeka said that about, six million Americans downloaded a trading app in January 2021 alone, and retail brokerages witnessed record-high average daily volumes for equity and options trades.

“The increase in retail participation is also seen in the Indian stock market as active investor accounts increased by a record 10.4 million in India post-pandemic 2020.

While listing its efforts and strides to enhance investors’ participation in the NCM, Chiemeka noted that the exchange is keen on collaborating with organisations with proven and reliable technological solutions to adapt to digital trends and technologies as well as innovate with new business models and products/services.

According to him, an example of this innovation was experienced in December 2021, when the exchange facilitated the public offer for the sale of 575 million shares held in MTN Nigeria by MTN Group to investors particularly the retail segment through the NGX primary offer app.

The offer was priced at N169 per share and over-subscribed by 139.47 per cent.

He said the oversubscription led to the allocation of an additional 86.25 million shares by MTN totaling 661.25 million shares.

“A total of 126,720 retail investors submitted valid applications and received a full allotment. More than 89 per cent of retail offer subscribers applied through the PrimaryOffer platform and 114,938 new Central Securities Clearing System accounts were opened by first-time investors”, he said.