By Femi Asu – The Punch
The Nigerian Stock Exchange has announced that it will migrate Access Bank Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc to its Premium Board on Monday, April 16, 2018.
The NGSE said on Thursday that the four companies applied and met its listing requirements for the board, a platform for showcasing companies who are industry leaders in their sectors. The Premium Board is the listing segment for the elite group of issuers that meet the Exchange’s most stringent corporate governance and listing standards.
According to a statement from the bourse, Access Bank, Lafarge Africa, Seplat and UBA have all passed the Corporate Governance Rating System and have market capitalisation of N347.12bn, N378.60bn, N391.37bn and N374.48bn respectively. It said they would join Dangote Cement Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, and Zenith International Bank Plc, which were migrated to the Premium Board in 2015, bringing the total number of companies on the board to seven.
“Premium Board features companies that adhere to international best practices on corporate governance and meet the Exchange’s highest standards of capitalisation and liquidity,” the NGSE said. The board, according to the statement, gives a company access to a global pool of investors who are focused on companies managed in conformity to the highest standards in their target markets.
Commenting on the development, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said, “This migration affirms the strides our listed companies are making towards meeting the highest standards of corporate governance and underpins the robustness of our market.” He said the new companies had consistently demonstrated their inherent values to be globally competitive brands and congratulated them on the attainment of the migration.
Onyema added, “Companies on the board are already enjoying the highest levels of visibility and appeal to investors looking for large companies with highest standards of corporate governance. From inception to date, the Premium Board Index continues to outperform the benchmark NSE ASI with the Premium Board recording a total return of 84.99 per cent versus the NSE ASI’s 41.79 per cent as at 11 April 2018.
“The Premium Board’s performance continues to reinforce the sentiments of both foreign and domestic investors on the importance of corporate governance and sustainability.”
To be listed on the board, the aspiring companies must attain a minimum market capitalisation of N200bn as at the date of application, a minimum score of 70 per cent on the CGRS, and maintain a minimum free float of 20 per cent of their issued share capital or a free float value equal to or above N40bn, as well as meet other standard listing criteria.
The NSE Premium Board and the associated Premium Board Index were launched on August 25, 2015.