A reversal to the negative trading sessions which plagued the Nigerian Stock market for 9 sessions, was witnessed on Thursday, May 16, as the long-awaited listing of MTN Nigeria shares debuted.
Performance indicator of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), which is the All-Share Index (ASI) turned a loss for the day into a gain of 0.5%.
According to Bloomberg, the reverse was significant due to Nigerian stocks being down 9.5% year-to-date, making it the fourth-worst performing market globally.
The listing of the stock which took place at 2:14 p.m. on the NSE’s premium board received positive reaction from investors as the shares jumped 10% to N99 from N90, the listing price announced earlier.
This places the value of the wireless carrier at N2 trillion naira, to make MTN Nigeria the second-biggest company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
MTN Nigeria which is a part of the MTN Group, Africa’s leading cellular telecommunications company, is the first telecommunications network provider to be listed on the NSE Premium Board, a listing segment for the elite group of issuers that meet The Exchange’s most stringent corporate governance and listing standards.
This Board features Dangote Cement Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, Zenith International Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc.
Commenting on the listing, the National Council President of NSE, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, said, “We are particularly pleased that MTN Nigeria has joined the prestigious club of companies listed on our Premium Board with this landmark transaction, which will differentiate it as a professionally run telecommunications company with high standards, having met NSE’s listing criteria.
A Premium Board listing is a sign of commitment to strong corporate governance, excellence, professionalism, efficiency in service delivery and providing increased returns to shareholders. It is our expectation that the MTN Nigeria listing, which is the NSE’s 2nd largest, will encourage other telecommunication companies to list their shares on The Exchange, thereby opening the sector up to cheaper, long term capital that will boost innovation and development.”
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema (OON) said, “We are delighted to welcome MTN Nigeria to the Exchange. Today’s listing is a promising development in the country’s telecommunications sector and we encourage other players in the sector to explore the different opportunities in the capital markets for raising long term capital”.
“As a listing platform of choice, today’s listing will add to our bouquet of diverse investment offerings to the public. Having MTN Nigeria listed in our market is a testament of The Exchange’s commitment to building a dynamic and inclusive market and creating channels for sustainable investment”.
“This listing will promote liquidity for MTN Nigeria, enhance its value and increase transparency, as our platform remains one of the best avenues for raising capital and enabling sustainable growth for national development”.
The Exchange said it continues to retool itself in many ways to remain an attractive destination for issuers, building a more responsive market, by deploying cutting edge technology for trading and reducing market infractions through improved market monitoring and surveillance.
The Exchange has also developed a market structure that has resulted in upscale securities listing such as SAHCOL Plc, the most recent company under the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) privatisation programme to successfully finalise an initial public offering and list its shares on The Exchange.