‘NGX remains preferred listing platform for capital raising’- Stakeholders

Capital market stakeholders have commended NGX for providing a vibrant listing platform for government and corporates to meet their business objectives. This was stated during the NGX CEO Roundtable held on Thursday, 7 July 2022.

The event, themed, “Creating the Enabling Ecosystem for Accessing Capital from the Nigerian Capital Markets” brought together key stakeholders in the capital market ecosystem to address and proffer solutions to the challenges faced by issuers in raising capital in the market.

In his opening remarks, Chairman, Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, OON, said that “we convened this Roundtable with the ultimate objective of enhancing the listing experience for listed companies and providing useful insights to prospective companies. NGX, as Nigeria’s premier securities exchange, remains strategically positioned to support the aspirations of its stakeholders and the Nigerian economy as a whole and we believe the deliberations from the panel sessions will help us improve our operations and offerings in listings experience, market development, advocacy, and investment opportunities.”

Giving the keynote speech, Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, HE, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo said that the Federal government is working diligently to improve the economy through diversifying the economy and strengthening institutions and structures. Additionally, he said, “as more of our startup companies grow and mature, we must ensure that there is access to a range of financial options to support their expansion plans”.

Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. (Mrs) Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed in a goodwill message, said that as a nation faced with the burden of economic recovery as a result of the global pandemic, the capital market is an efficient, reliable solution for businesses to raise capital and for investors to grow wealth. Ahmed who was represented by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed, said the theme of the roundtable is apt and will contribute to providing a deep, liquid and, integrated capital market which will deepen the alternative sources of finance and boost investors’ confidence to invest long term in the capital market.

On his part, the Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Lamido Yuguda noted that the theme of the roundtable resonates with the mandate of the Securities and Exchange Commission in developing and regulating the market while protecting investors. “The Commission welcomes the sound initiatives of NGX as it continues to engage with experts on for changes that will lead to a more desired expansion of the market”, he added.

Mr. Temi Popoola, CEO, Nigerian Exchange Limited reassured stakeholders of NGX’s commitments to improving issuers’ experience by providing a platform that enables companies to raise capital more efficiently whilst protecting investors. “As part of efforts to improve the listing experience of current issuers and attract new listings, NGX has intensified efforts with policymakers to shape reforms and policies that are supportive of listings and the capital market at large. We are strengthening the value proposition for corporates to consider the capital markets as a platform for raising capital and working to ensure we are competitive when compared to options that are available to issuers. We are, therefore, actively involved in contributing to policy formulation and advocacy to ensure an enabling environment for listings, including, working with several stakeholders to ensure that the time to market and the costs for listing are optimized.”

Speaking on the benefits derived from listing on the Exchange, CEO MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Mr. Karl Toriola, noted that MTN has received incredible support from NGX in its listing journey, which has enabled the brand to deepen and diversify its shareholder base. He mentioned that NGX’s corporate governance requirements and strong guidance provide credibility around the capital market and grant access to the wider public.  He further explained that MTN Nigeria’s recent public offer launched on the Exchange saw about 78% percent of women subscriptions with 80% under the age of forty-one which shows the drive for financial inclusivity.

Furthermore, CEO, BUA Foods Plc, Engr Ayodele Abioye, said that listing on the Exchange allows for democratization and public participation which has enhanced the credibility of the BUA brand. “Listing on NGX presents opportunities for companies to raise capital, fund business growth and implement expansion plans. In the first few weeks of our listing our shares valued at N18bn on the Exchange, increased by 66%. As our share prices continue to stabilize, our shareholder base has grown by about 400% since listing on the Exchange and we are beginning to see investors’ confidence in our business”, he added.

On the improvement opportunities in the listing process, speakers at the roundtable argued that there is a need to shorten the time to market and reduce the cost of transactions. Sharing optimism for the future of the capital market, it was also noted that the regulatory process has improved over the past decades with significant progress under the current administration.

Panellists at the roundtable include Karl Toriola, CEO, MTN Communications Nigeria Plc; Engr Ayodele Abioye, CEO, BUA Foods Plc; Owen Omogiafo, President/GCEO, Transnational Corporation Plc; Ike Chioke, GMD, Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited & President of Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria; Abbas Abdulkadir, Head, Registration, Exchanges & Market Infrastructure & Innovation, Securities & Exchange Commission; Asue Ighodalo, Founding Partner, Banwo & Ighodalo and Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG); Funso Akere, CEO, Stanbic IBTC Capital; Haruna Jalo-Waziri, CEO, Central Securities Clearing System Plc; Selloua Chakri, Managing Director of SCL Advisory Limited; Ogho Okiti, Managing Director, BusinessDay and Jude Chiemeka, Divisional Head, Capital Markets, NGX.

NGX CEO Roundtable is a platform that ensures continuous dialogue with key stakeholders and provides strategic solutions to economic issues for follow-up implementation by The Exchange in its capital market advocacy role.

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