Efforts by the capital market regulators to attract multinationals and telecoms firms to list on the NSE yielded significant result on Wednesday with the admission of the cross border secondary listing of 3,758,151,504 ordinary ordinary shares of Airtel Africa Plc on the exchange.
This is coming few months after the local bourse formally listed by introduction 20.35 billion ordinary shares of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Africa’s leading cellular telecommunications company, is the first telecommunications network provider to be listed on the NSE Premium Board at N90 per share.
Following Airtel listing, the market capitalisation of the NSE gained N1.379 trillion, to represent a growth of 10.68 per cent and closed at N14.288 trillion.
The telecoms firm which plans to leverage robust opportunity in Nigeria’s mobile money space to grow its earnings, listed its shares at N363 per share, adding a total of N1.364 trillion to the market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Airtel listing on the NSE is coming after its London Stock Exchange (LSE) primarily listing at an offer price of 80 pence per ordinary share.
The listing is expected to deepen the telecoms and technology sector for investors and provides an opportunity for a wider group of Nigerians to be part of the African telecoms growth story.
At the ceremony held in Lagos yesterday,. the Managing Director, Segun Ogunsanya said with the listing of the second largest telecoms network by subscription, the telecom firm was poised to build leadership position in Nigeria.
According to him, the company has concluded arrangement to drive financial inclusion amongst the unbanked and financially excluded through the establishment of a payment service bank (PSB) in Nigeria,
He said this would help to promote financial inclusion as well as enhance access to financial services to the rural poor, low-income earners and financially excluded of the society.
“There is still an age potential for Africa. Africa is still a growing continent with a huge number of young people that consumes data. In terms of opportunity in mobile money, we would take advantage of this opportunity to reach the unbanked in Nigeria. Nigeria is a great place for business.
We are committed to build leadership position here. We have 45 million subscribers here, making us one of the biggest in Nigeria.” He added that the firm would distribute to shareholders, a minimum of 80 percent of consolidated free cash flow as long as a ratio of net debt to EBITDA between 2 to 2.5 times is maintained.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Oscar Onyema while addressing Journalist on the Airtel Facts before the listing recently said Airtel Africa listing on the NSE reaffirms its long-term commitment to expanding opportunities for Nigerians in addition to providing everyday services to them.
“This listing is a promising development in Africa with Airtel Africa being the second company to have its ordinary shares listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This gives credence to the successful partnership between the two exchanges and we encourage similarly situated companies to explore the different opportunities for raising capital on the Exchange’s platform.
Furthermore, it shows the confidence “Airtel Africa has in our platform, which has a total market capitalization of N25.20 trillion across various asset classes. Airtel Africa’s listing on the NSE will not only showcase the company as an established player in the African Telecommunication Industry, but will enable the firm to actualize its strategic vision “To enrich the lives of customers”.
Speaking on the development, the Head of Research, FSL Securities Limited, Victor Chiazor, described Airtel Initial Public Offer (IPO) as a development that would bring investment options for equity investors. Chiazor said although the offer is coming at a time the equities market is bearish; but however, noted that it will help deepen the market especially with the fact that it will be the third largest listed company behind MTN Nigeria and Dangote Cement.
“Airtel is expected to account for about 10 per cent of market capitalization just behind MTN’s 18 per cent and Dangote Cement’s 21 per cent of total market capitalization and its listing would take the market capitalisation above N14 trillion.
“With the book building process completed and the listing price set at NGN363, we expect the company to be listed on or before July 5th, and unconditional dealing to commence.
Hopefully, we expect the success of this Airtel IPO and the listing by introduction done by MTN Nigeria to spur interest from other companies as to the huge benefits of listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.”
The Chief Research Officer of Investdata Consulting Limited, Ambrose Omodion, said Airtel Africa will boost the market capitalisation if listed on the NSE as stated in its IPO document.
He noted that the corporate governance of the company is expected to be in line with international best practice since it plans to list first in Landon stock exchange.
“Due to it dual listing, dividend is expected to be in dollars despite there is no history of dividend payment. Also it operations in other Africa counties should support earnings if all things being equal,” he stated
Source: The Guardian