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|Nigeria To Encourage Oil Companies To List On Local Exchange by paddy_lo(m): 7:45pm On Jul 17, 2010|
Nigeria to Encourage Oil Companies to List on Local Exchange
July 17 (Bloomberg) --
Nigeria will encourage large companies operating in the country to list their shares on the local stock exchange, said Arunma Oteh, director general of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The addition of foreign companies in industries such as oil-exploration and production would diversify the Nigerian stock exchange, Oteh told reporters in Lagos yesterday. She was accompanied by Minister of Finance Olusegun Aganga and Fola Daniel, the Commissioner for Insurance.
Banks make up about 60 percent of Nigeria’s stock market in terms of their weighting, according to Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, chief executive officer of New York-based DaMina Advisors. The market fell 34 percent last year following a banking crisis after margin loans to speculators and operators in the oil and gas industry led to mounting bad debts.
Nigeria will issue new guidelines on margin lending in August, “which will ensure that the kind of experience we had will not happen again,” Oteh said. The 2009 debt crisis left the country’s lenders with toxic assets of about $10 billion, Spio-Garbrah estimated a year ago while working as an analyst at Eurasia Group.
To avoid a repeat of the crisis, SEC must enforce its 385 rules, Aganga said. “It is not enough to have 385 rules; what is more important is to have a means to ensure that people obey these rules,” he said.
Nigeria will target double-digit annual growth in real gross domestic growth, Aganga said. Nigeria achieved growth of 7.2 percent in real terms in the first quarter, compared with 4.5 percent a year earlier. The economy is doing well, “but we know as a country with great potential, we can do better,” he said.
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