NSE targets ICT sector, following listings modifications
Category: Capital Market
April 3, 2012 / Temple ASAJU, Proshare News
LAGOS- The Nigerian Stock Exchange has said its new listing requirements will take the forms of offer for Subscription; Offer for Sale, Placing; Rights Offer/Issue; Capitalisation issue; Introduction(s); Conversion and any other method as may be prescribed by the council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Speaking recently with Capital Market Correspondents, the General Manager and Head, Listing, Sales and Retention, Taba Peterside disclosed that there are two boards in the new listing requirements namely, the Main Board and the ASeM Board.
For a company to be listed in the Main Board, such a company must be registered as a public liability company with minimum of three (3) years operating track record, as against the previous required five (5) years requirement. The company must have also met the stated profit test for capitalization rule. However, shareholders equity rule is stated as a minimum of N3billion, but this can be more.
For listing under the ASeM Board, requirements and rules include, company must be registered as a public liability company with minimum of two (2) years operating track record and must provide a comprehensive business plan covering a period not less than two (2) years. Peterside adds that stocks listed in the ASeM Board will not attract less interest from investors as the NSE has put in place measures to place both Boards at a parallel of investments attractions.
Both the Main Board and the ASeM Board will however feature the International Financial Accounting Standard, IFRS and deliver quarterly Financial of the company.
With some level of recognition currently being given to the ASeM Board, which comprise twelve-industry sectors ranging from Agriculture, Construction/Real Estate, Consumer Goods, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrial Goods, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Natural Resources, Oil & Gas, Services & Utilities and a few Conglomerates, the NSE is persuading companies in the ICT sector to consider listing in the Bourse.
ICT Firms and the Bourse At the NSE’s First Sectorial Dinner held lately with Prospective ICT companies in the country, the Exchange’s CEO, Oscar Onyema stated that with the reduction of the Five (5) year Required Operating Track Record for listing now reduced to three (3) years, prospective companies stand to enjoy benefits. Onyema says with reduced application fee for new or additional listing to N100, 000 and annual fee of N200,000 flat, a number of value added services will flow from the Exchange to listed companies. Further, listed firms will enjoy Access to low-cost long-term capital and improved visibility through exposure to a wide range of market operators, amongst other stated benefits.
Addressing the availability of government incentives for the listing of Prospective ICT companies in the Exchange, Nigeria’s Information Communications Technology (ICT) Minister, Omobola Johnson disclosed that the most relevant ICT sub-sector for the nation’s capital market now is the Telecoms industry. She says with over N70 billion earmarked for ICT services in the 2012 budget, it is enough to stimulate the local industries.
Johnson holds that compelling the telecoms companies to list in the capital market might not be successful unless a combination of incentives and legislation with considerations on standardisation and relaxation of regulatory requirements, which will entail adoption of international disclosure standards and flexible accounting standard requirements is deployed. She said some fiscal incentives such as offer of tax rebates and credits to listed firms coupled with legislative support in similarity to the experience of the GSM companies in other neighbouring countries will possibly yield success.
The CEO, Omatek plc, Florence Seriki encouraging fellow ICT firms present at the forum advised stakeholders to borrow the example of Omatek Plc, which is also listed in the Asian market. Seriki says it will more feasible to list ICT companies within the country from its varying directions. She adds that listed companies usually exhibit originality and enjoy international privileges.
The NSE’s interests in the listing of ICT companies lately appear to coming on the heels of the CBN’s Cashless policy adoption, e-payments systems and mobile-banking solutions. The successful implementation of this initiative in the nation’s capital market is expected to give a face-lift to the ICT’s contribution of 3.5% to the market capitalisation.