Insurers to ride on new palliatives for improved visibility, compliance to enhance investor confidence
The unchanging tend in the pricing of insurance stocks at the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE), which has left the industry traded stocks at ‘Peny’ despite the huge potential and some reasonable level of growth being witnessed in the sector, has become a serious concern for stakeholders.
Insurers in close interaction with authorities at the Exchange have come to realize that poor visibility, lack of market information, delay in compliance where major factors that has kept investors and stock traders in the dark about developments in the industry.
At a meeting with insurers during its recent Insurers Committee Meeting in Lagos, the CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema, observed that not much is heard about insurance companies’ activities.
Onyema said the industry must improve on its communication strategy, so that investors can be aware of what they are doing to be able to take positive decisions about their stock.
The NSE boss called on the insurance companies to come closer to the Exchange to take advantage of available products and platforms to enhance their visibility in the market.
Onyema said the Exchange and other regulators are working to harmonise financial reporting systems and timetable, adding that financial reporting is highly essential to investors as it aids their investment decisions.
Meanwhile, insurance regulator, the National Insurance Commission also confirmed it is working with other regulators to harmonise account submission procedures.
According to them, the planned procedure would act as one-stop-shop for submission of accounts, making it possible for regulators to stay on action once their colleague gets the account of a company.
George Onekhena, deputy commissioner for insurance (Finance & Administration), said NAICOM is working hard with other regulators to see how accounts submission can be streamlined.
Briefing journalist after the Insurers Committee Meeting Ganiyu Musa, group managing director, Cornerstone Insurance Plc said the encounter with the NSE boss offered opportunity for insurers to discuss on how to improve relationship of the industry with the stock market.
“We do a lot of things; we pay huge claims but it is not well communicated because we do not have enough analysts that are knowledgeable enough to talk about insurance the way they talk about other sectors”
“There is need therefore, to develop experts in this field who can interpret what we are doing on regular basis like they do for the banks and other institutions”
Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, managing director, Zenith Insurance and the vice chairman, Publicity sub-committee of the Insurers Committee said it’s working to get other arms of the industry on board to be part of the publicity project, stressing that since they are all parts of the industry, they would all pull efforts together to ensure the project succeeds.
“A lot of emphasis was placed on the publicity initiative and that has been revived again with some action plans decided in that regard.”
“We discussed the publicity issue and we are reviving it. It not really rebranding project, it’s a publicity initiative. We want to talk more about insurance. We want to tell people that we exist, who we are and what we do and who they can speak to”.
So, today we brought the issue up and we have agreed to start the project and this is likely to start by first quarter of next year.
“We are going on the platform of NIA now to agree on how we pay the bills to get started. I think by the first quarter of 2018, we would definitely begin to run different sets of campaigns. We would measure the impact of our campaign on a quarterly basis and by the third quarter we would decide the activities for the next year, which is 2019.”
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