Nigerian Stock Exchange powers e-trading portal with Sybase in R1.1m deal

Johannesburg, 18 Sep 2002
Read time 3min 50sec

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has launched an e-trading portal, developed by enterprise infrastructure and integration company Sybase, to ensure always-available access to information for its national and global stakeholders. The portal will also improve market transparency and process efficiency for the exchange.

The solution, the first of its kind in Africa, allows stockbrokers, investors, corporate organisations and other users access to real-time market statistics and trading information from the NSE floor. The second phase of implementation will enable online trading.

"This new information outlet will enhance market transparency, allowing investors to monitor their stockbrokers and portfolios online in real-time," says Dr Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, director general of the NSE. "The solution provides the NSE with the infrastructure to meet the challenges of the global market and enables improved service delivery."

The launch of the portal will also enhance the current T+3 trade settlements, while the ongoing integration of the solution with eTranzact - Nigeria's first online payment processing solution which allows mobile, Internet and other payment channels - enables the NSE to implement T+0 trade settlements.

The R1.1 million e-trading portal solution was developed on Financial Fusion Server, Sybase's multi-platform, multi-channel e-finance solution, and places the NSE in the same technology league as the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq. The solution incorporates Financial Fusion TradeForce GlobalFIX, which provides unlimited FIX connectivity for high-availability deployment.

"FIX is the universally accepted standard for front-office trade communications," says Valentine Obi, Sybase Nigeria CEO. "The solution gives the NSE the ability to modify FIX message formats, and provides support for all FIX message specifications. It allows seamless integration with purchasing systems on the buy side. On the sell side it allows for the deployment of point solutions without requiring costly new infrastructure." Around three million individual investors and hundreds of institutional investors (including foreigners who own about 47% of the quoted companies) use the facilities of the NSE.

Over 500 people attended the launch of the e-trading portal, representing government, the financial services industry, and stockbroking firms. Representing the US Ambassador to Nigeria was the Consular General, Robyn Hinson-Jones. "The United States welcomes this spirit of co-operation among private sector institutions and will always encourage such relationships," says Hinson-Jones.

"This is the beginning of a long journey towards helping Nigeria revitalise its economy. This e-business platform is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It offers global investors the means to closely monitor Nigeria's market. This will in turn boost foreign investor confidence and facilitate the attraction of foreign investment in Nigeria.

"Sybase has put the NSE on the information superhighway and at the same time taken the market here closer to foreign investors."

The NSE, with its head office in Lagos, has six branches located in Nigeria's major commercial cities. Each branch has a trading floor, and the Exchange has over 260 securities listed for trading, made up of government stocks, industrial loan stocks and equity/ordinary shares of listed companies. Most of the listed companies have global affiliations and represent a cross-section of the economy, ranging from agriculture through manufacturing to services.

The e-trading portal gives quoted companies several advantages:

* A graphical illustration of the company's market performance;

* A link from the Web site to the company's Web address facilitating the sending of e-mail;

* Companies' information is made available through the Web address;

* Online results of trading activities are available;

* A comprehensive report on annual general meetings and special events is available; and

* Companies can monitor movement of their share prices online in real-time.

Jim Ovia, MD and CEO of Zenith Bank, says: "For the first time, local and foreign investors can now monitor the Nigerian capital market online. The NSE Web site now provides up-to-the-minute key market information, analyses and statistics."

Henry Olavemi, vice-president of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, confirms that the new development will have far-reaching positive effects on the market. "With greater transparency the market will be more attractive, and investors can now take timeous advantage of information."

Editorial contacts
FHC Karen Breytenbach (011) 608 1228
Valentine Obi 09234 1 262 5120
Sybase SA Julie Tomlinson (011) 804 3740
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