Capital market stakeholders commend NGX on listing platform


Capital market stakeholders on Thursday commended the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) for providing a vibrant listing platform for government and corporate organisations to meet their business objectives.

They gave the commendation during the NGX CEO Roundtable held in Lagos.

The event, with theme: ‘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, NGX, Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, said that the Roundtable was convened with the objective of enhancing the listing experience for listed companies and providing useful insights to prospective companies.

Mahmoud said, “NGX as a Nigeria’s premier securities exchange, remains strategically positioned to support the aspirations of its stakeholders and the Nigerian economy as a whole.

“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, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, said that the Federal Government had been working diligently to improve the economy.

Adebayo said that includes diversifying the economy and strengthening institutions and structures.

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.”

Also, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr  Zainab 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 remains efficient.

Ahmed said that it also serves as a 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 was apt and would contribute to providing a deep, liquid and integrated capital market.

According to her, this  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  for changes that would lead to a more desired expansion of the market,” he added.

Mr Temi Popoola, CEO, NGX, reassured stakeholders of the Exchange of  commitments to improving issuers’ experience by providing a platform that enables companies to raise capital more efficiently while 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 optimised.”

Speaking on the benefits derived from listing on the Exchange, CEO, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Mr Karl Toriola, noted that MTN had received incredible support from NGX in its listing journey.

Toriola said that had 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 grants access to the wider public.

He further explained that MTN Nigeria’s recent public offer launched on the Exchange saw about 78 per cent of women subscriptions with 80 per cent under the age of 41, which shows the drive for financial inclusivity.

Also, CEO, BUA Foods Plc, Mr Ayodele Abioye, said that listing on the Exchange allows for democratisation 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 N18 billion on the Exchange, increased by 66 per cent.

“As our share prices continue to stabilise, our shareholder base has grown by about 400 per cent since listing on the Exchange and we are beginning to see investors’ confidence in our business,” he added.