Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Olufemi Lijadu has called for concerted efforts to strengthen the capital market to attract foreign investors.

Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Olufemi Lijadu has called for concerted efforts to strengthen the capital market to attract foreign investors.

Making the appeal while addressing the 2019 Pearl Awards and Public Presentation of the 2020 Nigerian Stock Market Annual in Lagos, Lijadu said all hands must be on deck to enhance and promote professional standards in the securities and investment industry.

He reiterated that capital market is the largest source of financing in several economies as it provides investment opportunities for investors.

He stressed that gradual development and uptake of capital market products is vital since it will help to unlock domestic and international long-term investment and direct it to where it is needed most.

Acting Director-General, Securties and Exchange Commission (SEC) Ms Mary Uduk said the commission was funding capacity assessment to review and strengthen operations in the capital market.

To sustain investor confidence, she said the Commission has continued to promote the E-Dividend Mandate Management System(EMMS), the Direct Cash Settlement(DCS) and the multiple subscription reconciliation for investors.

According to her, the importance of the EMMS is to reduce to the barest minimum the incidence of unclaimed dividends.

President, PEARL Awards, Mr. Tayo Orekoya said the awards would be restructured to accommodate other players in the capital market such as registrars, fund managers and portfolio advisers.

During the awards night, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc won the Overall Highest Award.

Other awards include conglomerates – Transnational Corporation Plc, Services- hotels and lodging, Ikeja Hotel Plc; Consumer Goods, breweries-Guinness Nigeria Plc; consumers goods, food products-Nestle Nigeria Plc; Information and Communication Technology, telecommunications-ChamsPlc; consumer goods, household products-Vitafoam Nigeria Plc and financial services, banking-Zenith Bank Plc.

Others included financial services, insurance-AIICO Insuranc Plc; financial services, other financial institutions-Stanbic IBTC Holding Plc; industrial goods, building materials, Dangote Cement; oil and gas – Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc; services, printing and publishing-Learn Africa Plc; financial services, mortgage-Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc and healthcare-pharmaceuticals-Neimeth International.

Winners who emerged under market excellence include earnings yield-Rak Unity Petroleum Plc; return on equity-Nestle Nigeria Plc; dividend growth-Unilever Nigeria Plc; dividend cover-Ikeja Hotel Plc, share price appreciation-Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc and net asset ratio- Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc.

Under Special Recognition awards, the winners were corporate governance-Africa Prudential Plc; stockbroking firm of the year- Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers Limited and issuing house of the year – Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited.

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