Digital Disruption: How Nigerian capital market leverages technology to battle Covid-19 challenges

Digital Disruption: How Nigerian capital market leverages technology to battle Covid-19 challenges

Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Trading floor [Photo: blogs.cfr.org] Related News

In the early hours of April 16, Ademola Adeoye walked leisurely across different sections of his living room in Oluyole area of Ibadan, Oyo State, completely unperturbed by the chaos of events happening outside of his immediate environment. A Lagos-based stock analyst and policy expert, Mr Adeoye moved to his Ibadan home shortly before the Nigerian government declared a nationwide lockdown to arrest the spread of coronavirus in the first quarter of the year.

Hours afterwards, he would join hundreds of other Nigerians and capital market enthusiasts across the world to witness the first-ever Digital Closing Gong ceremony hosted by the Nigerian Stock Exchange via Instagram Live.

The programme, held in honour of the contributions of Sterling Bank Plc to the fight against Covid-19 in Nigeria, took place in Lagos but was broadcast to a global audience via the social networking site, Instagram. Mr Adeoye, sitting at a spot located about 130 kilometres away from the Lagos location of the Nigerian bourse, joined the celebrations online.

“It was an immensely successful and disruptive move,” 39-year-old Mr Adeoye told PREMIUM TIMES in an interview. “It shows the promise of digital technology in the growth of Nigeria’s capital market and the larger economy.”

The finance expert said such moves must be encouraged to eliminate the barrier associated with physical activities at this critical period and deepen the adoption of digitally compliant means of participation in market activities.

“I enjoyed the ceremony, and those of us who witnessed the ‘open outcry’ era could not but marvel at the disruption brought by technology over these years,” he said. ‘Open Outcry’: the genesis

Before the advent of disruptive technologies, the ‘open outcry’ system was in place in stock markets across the globe. The system is a trading method used in stock exchanges where traders use verbal and nonverbal signals to communicate. Before the adoption of electronic trading, financial trading was conducted via open outcry, with stockbrokers typically shouting and using hand signals to communicate in melodramatic fashions.

Back in the day, stockbrokers yell how many contracts are for sale and at what price, and they also use hand gestures in order to get through to one another despite the cacophony. Some experts believe the open outcry method is effective because it makes possible a structured process that ensures bids and offers are matched in ways many considered quite efficient.

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