The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) says it is set to launch its Growth Board in Lagos on Wednesday that will provide issuers with the opportunity to leverage on the Exchange for listing, raising long term capital and facilitating liquidity in the trading of their shares.With a total of 41.5 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises operating in Nigeria, the launch of the Growth Board is designed to encourage the listing of growth companies and provide them with a cost-effective platform to raise the capital needed to scale, attract investors, enhance corporate visibility and put in place a regulatory structure that fosters growth.
In a statement by the NSE on Tuesday in Lagos, it noted that the Growth Board is being established as part of the NSE’s initiative to elevate the Nigerian capital market and meet the needs of businesses at every phase of their lifecycle.
“Up until 2015, NSE maintained two boards – the Main Board and Alternative Securities Market (ASeM). The Main Board targets well-established companies with a demonstrable track record of commitment to high standards of disclosure and corporate governance, while the ASeM Board is a platform with an additional focus on small to mid-sized companies,” it said.
It recalled that on August 25, 2015, the NSE launched the Premium Board for companies that meet the Exchange’s most stringent listing criteria of capitalization, corporate governance and liquidity aimed at providing a platform for greater global visibility for eligible African corporates to make it easier for them to attract global capital flows and reduce the cost of funding.
Speaking on the Growth Board, Mr. Olumide Bolumole, Head, Listings Business Division said, “The launch of the NSE Growth Board further re-affirms NSE’s long standing tradition of supporting the development of SMEs in Nigeria by offering entrepreneurs opportunities to access finance and scale their businesses. The Growth Board is expected to attract small to medium-sized companies that exhibit the potential for fast growth in their corporate earnings and are in the growth phase of their business cycle. It will also offer investors the opportunity to invest in such companies with potential for high returns/capital gains.”
In line with its efforts to deliver value to listed companies, the NSE will present companies aspiring to list or are listed on the Growth Board with access to its Value Added Services programme that are designed to; create competitive edge for listed companies, facilitate new listings, stimulate investors’ interest through enhanced information delivery and assist companies in complying with post listing obligations to retain their listing status.
According to the NSE, the Growth Board companies will enjoy the full complement of Value Added Services (Institutional Services; Investor Relations; Analyst Coverage, Corporate Access and Corporate Governance), expanded Designated Advisers, reduced NSE fee structure, reduced pre and post listing obligations and increased turnaround time for approvals and time to market.