US investors eye Nigerian capital market, urge regulatory reforms

Institutional investors from the United States under the Institutional Investor Network have expressed interest in allocating their capital and exploring more direct investment opportunities in the Nigerian capital market.

This was the subject of discussion at an engagement between Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and a delegation from the United States facilitated by Chapel Hill Denham, consisting of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Prosper Africa and Power Africa. During the engagement, which was marked by a Closing Gong Ceremony, the Chairman, Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Kwairanga called for a deeper collaboration between the US and Nigeria.

The Chief Executive Officer, NGX,Temi Popoola emphasised the innovative activities of the Exchange around catalysing capital formation by both foreign and domestic investors. “We are working hand-in-hand with government to create an attractive environment for listings and also on product innovation that can creatively channel more funds into the market.

On his part,  the Senior Investment Advisor, Prosper Africa,Cameron Khowsroshahi, who led the US delegation to Nigeria stated the openness of US institutional investors in working with Nigerian institutional investors including pension funds to explore more avenues to invest in the Nigerian capital market.

Whilst giving remarks, he noted that in the US, pension funds, some of whom were represented at the engagement, were allowed by regulation to invest 60 to 75 per cent of their capital into equities and funds targeting equities.

Also speaking at the engagement was the CEO, Chapel Hill Denham, Mr Bolaji Balogun, who expressed hope that the Nigerian market will emulate the US market as regards lesser risk aversion to investing pensions in equities.

UNI Agric Markurdi
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