The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) today unveils its Growth Board in line with its drive to deepen the Nigerian capital market and provide support for fast-growing companies at The Exchange, Lagos on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.
Just as the CEO hinted that the Alternative Securities Market (ASeM) will be faced out through a gradual process. The Growth Board aims to encourage Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in their growth phase to seize the opportunity of raising long term capital and leveraging the NSE’s varied products and services to achieve their long term business objectives.
Speaking during the launch ceremony, Mr Oscar N. Onyema, OON, Chief Executive Officer, NSE said, “SMEs have contributed about 48% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last five years according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics. This segment of the economy also accounts for 96% of operational businesses and 84% of employment. Despite these significant contributions, SMEs face significant challenges, including lack of right-sized and right-priced financing. With the launch of the Growth Board, the Exchange is, therefore, offering issuers relaxed entry criteria as well as less stringent ongoing listing requirements to allow for greater accessibility to finance, global visibility and credibility through corporate disclosures.”
In delivering real value to the SME sector, the Growth Board restructures current market segments along a company’s entire lifecycle i.e. It offers issuers the opportunity to either list on the Entry Segment – for companies with a market capitalization from ₦50m, or the Standard Market – for institutions with a market capitalization from ₦500m. Furthermore, the segmentation of the boards provides alternative options for interested investors to participate in each company’s growth journey.
To achieve the listed company’s growth strategy and listing objective, The Exchange will also be collaborating with various strategic business partners and value-added service providers. Mr Onyema said, “We have partnered with relevant stakeholders to design a suite of cost-effective services to give listed companies a competitive edge within their respective industries while stimulating investors’ interest through enhanced information delivery. These services include pre-listing diagnostics; Institutional Services (including audit services, financial advisory, legal advisory, corporate strategic advisory); Investor Relations; Analyst Coverage, Corporate Access and Corporate Governance.”
Onyema went on to invite growth companies represented at the launch and the 97 companies featured in 2019 Companies to Inspire Africa (CTIA) jointly produced by the London Stock Exchange and PWC Africa to join the NSE Growth Board ecosystem and use the platform to achieve their strategic business objectives.