Barring unforeseen circumstances, there are strong indications that Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) has initiated a plan to ensure that its members trade on all the securities exchanges in Nigeria in line with the new name of the professional trade group.
ASHON, the umbrella body for all Securities Dealing Houses in Nigeria was formerly known as Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria until last year, when the trade group swiftly and creatively changed its name to reflect the enlarged functions of its members without prejudice to the existing acronym. As part of its brand positioning, the Association also changed its logo and launched it with fanfare to reflect an array of its members’ functions.
The new name with logo is consistent with the ongoing Bill that will recognize Stockbrokers as Securities Dealers as against the current narrow perspective of their roles being limited to dealing in equities only.
Informed sources explained at the weekend that the report of a Technical Committee, set up by ASHON to harmonize the relationship between its members with FMDQ Plc, NASD Plc and Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE) was ready for discussion by the Council, whenever the members meet.
“ASHON is proactive. Recall how it changed its name to reflect the enlarged roles of Stockbrokers as part of the expectations from the anticipated endorsement of the Securities Bill. It achieved this without losing the initial acronym. It created a new logo to match the name. This was followed by setting up of a Technical Committee to fashion out modalities that will enable our members trade seamlessly on all the securities platforms in Nigeria. The Nigerian Stock Exchange has been the only platform over the years, but we now have FMDQ, NASD and LCFE is ready for full blown operation. The Committee’s report will be reviewed by the Council soon and appropriate decision shall be taken “, said a source who pleaded anonymity at the weekend.
Market watchers have expressed concern that Stockbrokers are not so active in trading fixed income securities on the FMDQ. They explained that the financial instrument was the hub of transaction on The Exchange during its formative years. They noted that rising activities in capital raising by equity at a point weakened transaction in fixed income securities. “Trading in fixed income securities is one of the core functions of Stockbrokers. At a point, Stockbrokers slept, and bankers took over their job before the daybreak. I think ASHON is ready to reverse the trend.”, said a Custom Street analyst.
With the impending demutualization of The Exchange and increasing level of uncertainties in the system, ASHON’s Chairman, Chief Onyenwechukwu Ezeagu has consistently maintained that his members would remain innovative as part of the strategies to sustain their operations.
“We are reviewing our business model to accommodate the new normal. We have constituted a committee to advise our Council on the effect of the pandemic and part of their terms of reference is to chart a way forward for our business, therefore, it will not be right to preempt the work of the committee at this time.
“The pandemic has come to recalibrate the world and redefine humanity. It is important that we all learn to readjust to the dictates of the times; Stay safe by following the directives of medical experts. Keep hope alive and do not give in to fear. Help one another and look out for one’s neighbour. We must change the way we live, work and play to conform to the realities of the pandemic. Collaboration rather than competition would help us to overcome the new normal.”, said Ezeagu at the commencement of lockdown, prompted by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Only recently, the AsSHON’s Spokesperson, Ms Ify Ejezie in an exclusive interview said that ASHON’s Committee on COVID-19 had submitted its report on how the members can operate seamlessly, irrespective of the impacts of the pandemic on the operating environment.