The Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday achieved a milestone with the listing of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc 20.35 billion shares at N99 per share lifting the market capitalisation by N1.83 trillion.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the stock appreciated by N9 at the first trading day to close at N99 per share, having traded 5.5 million shares worth N545.59 million in 15 deals.
Speaking at the listing, Ferdi Moolman, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, said the company would contribute to the growth of the nation’s bourse.
Moolman said the listing would afford Nigerians the opportunity to own 20 per cent of the company’s shares.
He noted that the company would float an Initial Public Offering at a later date, adding that the IPO would depend on market conditions.
Moolman said ownership of the telecommunications firm was expected to increase to around 35 per cent from the present 20 per cent after the IPO.
He explained that the parent company was willing to dilute its shareholding from the present 78.8 per cent to 65 per cent to enable the local unit be at par with that of other multinationals listed in Nigeria.
Moolman said the company would further establish brand leadership and legacy by becoming the first Mobile Network Operator to list on the exchange.
He said Nigeria remained a major asset for the company being the largest African economy, largest telecommunications market in Africa as well as leading mobile market.
On issue of delisting, Moolman assured the stockbroking community and investors that the company had come to stay.
“We believe in this market and we are here to stay,” Moolman said.
Earlier, Oscar Onyema, NSE Chief Executive Officer, said the company was the first telecommunications network provider to be listed on the NSE Premium Board.
Onyema said Premium Board was 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,” he said.
H added: “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.”
Commenting on the listing, Bolaji Balogun, Chief Executive Officer, Chapel Hill Denham, said Chapel Hill acted as a joint financial adviser with Stanbic IBTC Capital in the historic listing.
Balogun said the “two houses have basically been responsible for leading this transaction process over the last few months and I am delighted to get it over the line.”
He described the listing as very significant, having added N1.8 trillions to NSE market capitalisation.
He said: “It would be the second largest company by market capitalisation on the exchange and more importantly, it will also bring more of Nigeria’s best companies on to the exchange and give a wider group of Nigerians the opportunity to participate in its share holding.
“There are very few companies in Africa today that generate $1 billion of free cash flow and this is one of those special companies and I am really pleased we have it on the stock exchange.
“This listing would encourage many other large unlisted companies both within that sector and as well as other sector to start to think about the Nigerian stock market.”