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Nigerian Stock Exchange Buys Nasdaq’s X-Stream

By on April 25, 2012

Nigeria’s Stock Exchange (NSE) signed a deal to adopt the Nasdaq X-Stream trading platform on Tuesday, and said it would aim to go live with it by the second quarter of 2013, part of a string of reforms to overhaul the bourse.

“To grow our market, we have to make it more efficient and transparent to build confidence in investors,” Ade Bajomo, the exchange’s executive director of market operations and technology, said at a signing ceremony with Lars Ottersgard, Nasdaq senior vice president and head of technology.

“We will work aggressively to go live with the Nasdaq platform by the second quarter of 2013, but this will depend largely on the need to carry along other market operators.”

The adoption of the Nasdaq system is part of plethora of reforms, including relaxing restrictions on price swings, adopting the Nasdaq platform, opening into U.S. trading hours and allowing short selling.

Africa’s second-biggest bourse is automated, but the technology is old and price- rather than quote-driven. The new system is supposed to make the market more efficient, liquid and easier for traders to use.

After roaring growth earlier last decade, a banking crisis caused stocks to drop by around 60 percent in 2008. Recovery hit a stumbling block in 2011, with a 16.3 percent fall on concerns over writedowns of bad debts.

Analysts expect 2012 to end the year on a gain, and stock exchange officials hope the new system will restore confidence in the transparency of the market in future years.

Officials said the Nasdaq technology would also reduce transaction times, but did not say by how much.

“The new platform will allow automatic integration of dealers with the exchange system, customers should be able to use their smart phones to access their accounts,” Oscar Onyeama, NSE chief executive said at the ceremony.