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NSE migrates UBA , Lafarge, Seplat,Access Bank to premium board

Premium Board
L-R: Group Managing Director, Lafarge, Mr. Michel Puchercos, CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyeama; Chairman, United Bank for Africa, Mr. Tony Elumelu; Chairman Seplat, Dr. ABC Orjiakor; Chairman, Access Bank, Mrs. Mosun Belo-Olusoga; Chairman, Lafarge, Mr. Mobolaji Balogun; Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe; Group Managing Director, Seplat, Mr. Ojunekwu Augustine Avuru; and Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, during the official ceremony to announce the migration of United Bank for Africa Plc and three other companies to the Premium Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) says it has migrated United Bank for Africa Plc , Lafarge Africa Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and Access Bank Plc to its Premium Board.

The exchange stated this on April 16, 2018 sequel to their  application and meeting listing requirements for the board.

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.

Premium Board is a platform for showcasing companies that are industry leaders in their sectors. It features companies that adhere to international best practices on corporate governance and meet the exchange’s highest standards of capitalization and liquidity.

The board gives a company access to a global pool of investors that are focused on companies managed in conformity with the highest standards in their target markets.

United Bank for Africa Plc , Lafarge Africa, Seplat Petroleum Development Company and Access Bank Plc have all passed the Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS) and have market capitalisation of N347.12bn, N378.60bn, N391.37bn and N374.48bn respectively.

They have joined Dangote Cement, FBN Holdings, and Zenith International Bank that were migrated to the Premium Board in 2015, bringing the total number of companies on the board to seven.

Commenting on the development, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, said, “the new companies have consistently demonstrated their inherent values to be globally competitive brands and we congratulate them on the attainment of this migration”.

Speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Kennedy Uzoka noted; “the migration of UBA shares to the Premium Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is well deserved. It is instructive to bring back memories of our pioneer Initial Public Offer (IPO) in the Nigerian banking sector, following our listing on the NSE in 1970. Since then, we have remained committed to the development of the NSE and the broader capital market, through our equity and debt listings as well as strategic partnerships with the leaderships of the Nigerian capital market.

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More so, this premium listing of UBA shares is a further attestation of our size and the liquidity of the stock on the Exchange. It is also reinforcing of our continuously evolving sound corporate governance, which is a pre-requisite for companies to be listed on the Premium Board of the NSE. In expectation that this premium listing will further enhance the visibility of our stock on the Nigerian Bourse, we believe our decision to migrate UBA shares to this new Board will deepen value creation for our shareholders. It is pertinent to reiterate our commitment to sustainable and superior wealth creation for all shareholders, as we duly appreciate and place significant premium on everyone’s investment in UBA Group, Kennedy added”.

Also speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman of UBA Plc, Tony O. Elumelu said that “the migration of UBA shares to the newly created Premium Board of the Exchange is a deserving recognition of the size, liquidity and sound corporate governance of the Group. I congratulate the Management and Staff of UBA Group on this positive recognition.”

He added: “I laud the leadership of the NSE for Premium Board initiative, which I consider to be a progressive classification, as it should provide relevant visibility for prime stocks listed on the NSE and perhaps help discerning investors in their stock selection and broader investment decision process. I expect stocks listed on the Premium Board to attract the justified premium valuation, which they truly deserve, as large-cap companies with proven record of sound corporate governance and stock liquidity. I would expect the NSE or any of the major brokerage houses to develop an index around the Premium Board, as this my further deepen the market and create the much-needed products and liquidity for the Nigerian equity market.”

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Commenting on the development, the MD/CEO of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said: “Access Bank is pleased to have attained this status. We have always adhered to international corporate governance best practices, which is line with the our aspiration to become Africa’s gateway to the World.”

To be listed on the Premium Board of The NSE, the aspiring companies must attain a minimum market capitalization of N200bn as at the date of application, a minimum score of 70% on the Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS), and maintain a minimum free float of 20% of their issued share capital or a free float value equal to or above N40 billion, as well as meet other standard listing criteria.

Recall the NSE Premium Board and the associated Premium Board Index were launched on August 25, 2015.

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