Nigerian Stock Exchange Launches Market Surveillance System .

Powered by Nasdaq SMARTS, the new market surveillance system at the NSE has successfully gone-live.

Nigerian Stock Exchange Launches Market Surveillance System

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has recently successfully gone-live with a new market surveillance system powered by Nasdaq SMARTS.

We spoke with Mr. Abimbola Babalola, Head of Market Surveillance at NSE about this significant project and the success behind it.

Map of Nigeria

Congrats on the launch of your new market surveillance system. This is a really wonderful achievement. Could you discuss how the new system will help meet your goals?

AB: As the foremost securities exchange in Nigeria that is home to the biggest brand, we are constantly seeking innovative ways to deliver our offering in a sustainable manner. Our motivation for the adoption of the SMARTS Surveillance system was pursuant to our goal to continuously protect the integrity of the market and safeguard it from fraud, manipulation and abusive practices; thus ensuring a fair and orderly market. The surveillance tool will enhance our proactive approach towards detecting and deterring abusive tendencies in our market on a real time basis. The new system will also equip our surveillance team in profiling investment trends across listed securities.

Could you describe what it’s like to surveil the markets in Nigeria? Is there anything unique about the Nigerian markets as it relates to surveillance?

AB: Our country is vastly populated and we continue to see increasing number of participants with the array of asset classes that the Exchange is introducing. A few years back, we were largely an equities marketplace. But, today, we have investment options in bonds, mutual funds, Exchange Traded funds, whilst efforts are progressing significantly to launch derivatives. Therefore, trading activities on The Exchange are increasingly dynamic and our surveillance operations are in line with global best practices.

What regulations are you keenly following and having to address?

AB: Our Rules are beginning to address the complexities in market participant’s understanding of some of the market actions that impact market integrity. Providing interpretative guidelines on our market rule adds to the robustness of our Rules making and stakeholder engagement processes. The Exchange is also eager to address issues of Insider’s Dealing and Front Running with possible deterrence measures. More importantly, we organize various financial literacy programmes targeted at different players within our ecosystem to educate them on the various aspects of our market. Recently, we launched, X-Academy, a bespoke learning initiative devoted to empowering individuals and businesses in the capital market for optimal performance. .

How do you see NSE expanding and evolving its market surveillance practice?

AB: The culture of market surveillance at the NSE is evolving to protect the market’s integrity whilst engendering investors’ confidence. The SMARTS Surveillance tool will empower the Surveillance Team to actualize the principle of “quick detection and swift action.” We also envisage that there will be some amendments to existing trading rules and or new rules formulated where necessary to aid our enforcement actions in response to breaches.

Are there any emerging technologies you’re closely following that you have interest in applying at NSE?

AB: The Exchange is constantly following regulatory technologies that is fit for its purposes. We keep a keen eye on the technology space as well as information security.

For fun question: what do the people the NSE enjoy doing on the weekends in Lagos as a popular pastime?

AB: The Exchange has footprints in the major commercial hubs around Nigeria, not only in Lagos. As you may know, our country is vastly diverse in culture and entertainment. Yet, there are common trends such as attending celebrations, picnics, family bonding time amongst other things that cuts across cities where we operate. In addition to all of these, Lagos is the host city for most of the art exhibitions, concerts, and comedy shows in Nigeria. Our employees may be found letting their hairs down at some of these unique events

Read the press release here >
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