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NSE rolls out plans for new electronic trading platform

By The Citizen
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The Nigerian Stock Exchange has announced plans to introduce a new electronic trading platform called X-Gen, which will allow investors, stockbrokers and other stakeholders to access the market from everywhere at all times.

The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said this in Lagos at the Exchange's X-Gen Expo, which was organised partly to enlighten the stakeholders on the new platform and the support systems that will facilitate the end-to-end automation of the stock market.

He said, 'The introduction of X-Gen stems from our quest to enable our emerging market structure with 21st century technology and give us the foundation to join leading exchanges in building scale, scope and efficiency.

'X-Gen symbolises NSE's untiring commitment to delivering a first rate technology platform that will enable our dealing members build and grow their businesses, and the investing community experience a more efficient market when they buy or sell securities.'

When introduced, the new system, according to the NSE, is expected to improve transparency, market access, audit trail and provide efficient price discovery in the market, thereby enabling investors to realise their investment objectives by using the three products currently offered at the Exchange in more meaningful ways.

Onyema explained that the migration to the new trading platform, which was targeted for the end of Q3 2013, will support the development of the nation's capital market and the Exchange's vision to become the Gateway to African Markets.

He added that the platform would be introduced in two phases. In the first phase, he said the system would support equities, a fully functional bond market and Exchange Traded Funds, while in the second phase it would support derivatives in futures and options.

The Executive Director, Market Operations and Technology, NSE, Mr. Ade Bajomo, in a presentation on 'Technology strategy for the capital market' said the new platform would lead to: automation of trade data input and output through the order, customer ability  to place orders anywhere and anytime, improved platform stability after bedding down period, improved market transparency for all participants, and unparalleled access to market data.

He explained that the change was necessary because, among other things, the current trading platform, which had been in use since 1999, had reached its 'end of life' and would no longer be supported by its suppliers from mid-2013.

Also, he said, failure to adopt a new trading platform would prevent Nigeria from achieving its Vision 2020 for the capital market and its current position as the leading capital market in West Africa would be jeopardised in the medium term as other Exchanges such as Ghana continue in their steady technology investments.

Bajomo stated, 'Technology must be underpinned with robust business processes to help achieve improved participation and liquidity for their markets, and also offer a basis to grow to grow the markets through increased listing activities and diversified product offerings.'

He added that as a result, mass market participation would be encouraged, thereby creating wealth building opportunities, while additional benefits include an enhanced way of doing business.

The Expo witnessed exhibitions from several indigenous information and technology companies. The Chief Executive Officers of some the companies, while speaking at the event, assured stockbrokers at the event that not only were their software and technology of global standard; they would ensure seamless transition from the old platform to the new one.

Stockbrokers, however, urged the companies to ensure that the new technology was affordable and safe.