Globally, there is an increasing reliance on market data as a fundamental tool for making sound financial decisions and the Nigerian case is no different. This was highlighted at The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE or The Exchange) 5th Market Data Workshop 2020 hosted in collaboration with InfoWARE Limited. The event – which held virtually on Friday, 13 November 2020, was themed, “Handling Shocks in the Capital Market: A Quantitative Risk Management Approach Using Market Data.” Other sponsors of the 2020 NSE Market Data Workshop were Zenith Bank, EFG-Hermes, WCM Capital, Apel Asset Limited, Investor Hangout, Cordros Capital, CSL Stockbrokers, NG Clearing Limited, and Meristem.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON commented, “In Nigeria, the equities market recorded negative performance in the first quarter of the year, with the NSE All Share Index (“ASI”) posting a quarterly return of -20.65 percent in Q1’2020. However, the market saw an upswing since April 2020, and has so far gained +31.67% as at 12 November. This feat – particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic – can be attributed to smart investors bargain hunting and the release of positive year-end financial results of several listed companies, coupled with improved dividend declarations. It demonstrates the opportunities that abound in the market for discerning investors, even in a time of crisis, and underscores the importance of quality market data for investment decision-making.”
The first-panel session of the event featured Felix Egbon, Group Head, Risk Management, Zenith Bank Plc; Tapa Das, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NG Clearing Limited; Oladipupo Oyefuga, Head, Risk, Stanbic IBTC Bank; and Dr. Olaoluwa Simon Yaya, Sub Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Ibadan. This panel session, which was moderated by Olufemi Balogun, Head, Market Services, NSE, highlighted the importance of building financial or investment models that can be tested with real-life situations. Panelists agreed that the unprecedented happenings of 2020 have proven that reliable real-time and historical data that can easily be understood is critical to building these models.
In addressing the topic, Adopting a Data-Driven Culture: The Key to Innovation, the second-panel session addressed changes in business operations occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and how the timeliness, accuracy, and availability of data has been critical in shaping how they interact with stakeholders. The panel session featured Uwa Agbonile, CEO and Chief Software Architect, Infoware Limited; Lilian Olubi, CEO, EFG-Hermes; Saheed Bashir, CEO, Meristem Stockbrokers Limited; Carl Larry, Principal Consultant, Oil Outlooks and Opinions LLC; and was moderated by Dr. Ogho Okiti, Managing Director, BusinessDay Media Limited.
In her presentation, Ms. Anita Gopaldas, Market Data Officer, Market Services, NSE, highlighted The Exchange’s wide range of market data products and solutions across all asset classes. Some of these services include the NSE API which ensures the dissemination of real-time data to stakeholders; FIX Order Management System which allows trade information to be transmitted from anywhere to The Exchange; and the recently upgraded X-DataPortal, which serves as a consolidated, streamlined platform for market participants to access quality and timely data at an affordable rate.
Other presentations at the workshop were delivered by Olufemi Balogun, Head, Market Services, NSE; Uwa Agbonile, CEO, Infoware Limited; and Benedict Whittam Smith, CEO, Deontic Data. From their presentations, it was made clear that quality, accessible data is critical not only to dealing with the problems of today but in mitigating the crises of the future.