Nigeria's markets regulator publishes rules on crypto assets

BY Reuters | ECONOMIC | 05/14/22 08:55 AM EDT

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria's markets regulator has published a set of regulations for digital assets, signalling Africa's most populous country is trying to find a middle ground between an outright ban on crypto assets and their unregulated use.

Nigeria's central bank last year banned banks and financial institutions from dealing in or facilitating transactions in digital currencies.

But the country's young, tech-savvy population has eagerly adopted cryptocurrencies, for example using peer-to-peer trading offered by crypto exchanges to avoid the financial sector ban.

Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published the "New Rules on Issuance, Offering Platforms and Custody of Digital Assets" on its website.

The 54-page document lays out registration requirements for digital assets offerings and custodians, and classifies the assets as securities regulated by the SEC.

A central bank spokesperson did not answer calls to his mobile phone.

The SEC said no digital assets exchange would be allowed to facilitate trading of assets unless it had received a "no objection" ruling from the commission.

A digital assets exchange will be required to pay 30 million naira ($72,289) as a registration fee, among other fees.

In October, Nigeria launched a digital currency, the eNaira, in the hope of expanding access to banking. Official digital currencies, unlike cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, are backed and controlled by the central bank.

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe in Lagos and Camillus Eboh in Abuja; Editing by Mark Potter)

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.

fir_news_article