COVID-19: Nigerian Stock Exchange to shut down trading floor

• Investors gain N20.9bn Tuesday

Sequel to the increase in confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has announced that all trading floors of the bourse are temporarily closed effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

The local bourse in a circular titled ‘COVID-19: Our response’ noted that while the trading floor remained closed, remote trading would continue, just as the staff would be available through all the digital platforms of the NSE to provide support.

“In line with our robust Business Continuity Management framework, we would like to reassure you that we have put in place measures to ensure our operations and trading activities continue seamlessly throughout this period. As an exchange, we will ensure that all relevant information continues to flow into the market to ensure the pricing of risk assets remains transparent and reliable across asset classes to allow investors to value their portfolios and make informed investment decisions under these volatile conditions,” the circular stated.

“Furthermore, all physical meetings within and outside our office premises have been suspended until further notice. We have instructed our employees to leverage technological tools to conduct meetings virtually. We assure you that our virtual lines of communication will remain open to engage with you and attend to your needs.

According to the circular signed by the Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Oscar Onyema, dealing members are encouraged to continue to trade remotely via our electronic platforms such as FIX protocol and XNET, and reach out to their Compliance Officer if any support is required while noting that the bourse would provide manual support to members without remote access during this period.

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“Issuers who have any business to conduct with the exchange can reach out to their Relationship Manager for guidance. You should continue to submit all regulatory filings via Issuers’ Portal (X-Issuer). As The Exchange embraces social distancing as prescribed by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), we have further engaged with the Federal Government on issues of Annual General Meetings, maturing financial instruments, financial reporting, to mention a few and appropriate updates will be provided in due course,” it added.

Meanwhile, following the bargain hunting on some large and medium capitalized stocks, the Nigerian equity market on Tuesday rallied 0.19 per cent to reverse previous day negative sentiment as investors gained N20.9 billion.

The All-Share Index (ASI) increased by 40.18 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.19 per cent to close at 21,714.16 points. Similarly, the overall Market Capitalisation size gained N20.94 billion to close at N11.33 trillion.

Consequently, the market breadth closed positively, recording 19 gainers as against 10 losers with NPF Microfinance Bank emerging top gainer while Caverton emerged as the top loser.

The total volume of trades decreased by 28.9 per cent to 330.10 million units, valued at NGN3.57 billion and exchanged in 4,561 deals. Guaranty Trust Bank was the most traded stock by volume and value at 78.90 million units and N1.32 billion, respectively.


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