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UBA, Access Bank, Seplat and Lafarge Africa migrate to NSE Premium Board

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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

By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

United Bank of Africa (UBA), and three other companies on Monday migrated to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Premium Board, making it a total of seven companies.

The bank migrated alongside Access Bank Plc, Lafarge Africa and Seplat, following their applications and meeting up with NSE listing requirements for the board.

Other companies listed on the Premium Board include Dangote Cement, FBN Holdings and Zenith International Bank which migrated to the board in 2015.

Mr Herbert Wigwe, the Managing Director, Access Bank, said that the bank was pleased to have attained the status.

“We have always adhered to international corporate governance best practices, which is in line with our aspiration to become Africa’s gateway to the World,” Wigwe said.

He said that Access Bank and three other companies: Lafarge Africa, Seplat and UBA had all passed the Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS).

Dr ABC Orjiako, Seplat Chairman, said that the company would always adhere  to international corporate governance best practices in every area of its operations.

Orjiako said that conformity with rules and processes were critical to its historic dual listing on the NSE and London Stock Exchange in 2014.

“I am glad to see our company Seplat, be the first company in the oil and gas segment to attain the Premium Board of The NSE,’’ he said.

Mr Oscar Onyema, NSE Chief Executive Officer, said that the migration affirmed the strides that listed companies were making toward meeting the highest standards of corporate governance.

Onyema said that the new companies had consistently demonstrated their inherent values to be globally competitive brands.

“Companies on the board are already enjoying the highest levels of visibility’’

From inception to date, the Premium Board Index continues to outperform the benchmark of 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 April 11.

“This is a journey we started in 2015, I know a lot of companies would migrate to the Premium Board, while new companies would be coming directly.

We will come here in five years time with more companies in Premium Board,’’ he said.

He added that they had market capitalisation of N347.12 billion, N378.60 billion, N391.37 billion and N374.48 billion respectively.

Group Managing Director of UBA, Kennedy Uzoka said; “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.

‘’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”.

Chairman of UBA, 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.

“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.”

Premium Board is the listing segment for the elite group of issuers that meet the exchange’s most stringent corporate governance and listing standards.

The board is a platform for showcasing companies that are industry leaders in their sectors.

Premium Board features companies that adhere to international best
practices on corporate governance and meet the Exchange’s highest standards of capitalisation and liquidity.

It 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.

The Premium Board’s performance continues to reinforce the sentiments of both foreign and domestic investors on the importance of corporate
governance and sustainability”, he said.

To be listed on the Premium Board of The NSE, the aspiring companies must attain a minimum market capitalisation of N200 billion as at the date of application, a minimum score of 70 per cent on the CGRS.

The companies must maintain a minimum free float of 20 per cent of their issued share capital or a free float value equal to or above N40 billion, as well as meet other standard listing criteria.

The NSE Premium Board and the associated Premium Board Index were launched on Aug. 25, 2015.