The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE or The Exchange) has unveiled its Growth Board for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The launching was done on Wednesday, 29th of January, 2020 in Lagos. It was created in line with NSE’s drive to deepen the Nigerian capital market and provide support for fast-growing companies.
The Growth Board aims to encourage Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in their growth phase to seize the opportunity of raising long term capital. Also, SMEs can leverage the NSE’s varied products and services to achieve their long term business objectives.
About The Growth Board
Oscar N. Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, NSE during the ceremony explained, “the launch of the Growth Board is a way to offer issuers, relaxed entry criteria as well as less stringent ongoing listing requirements to allow for greater accessibility to finance, global visibility and credibility through corporate disclosures.”
Stating the reason for the initiative, Onyema, according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, disclosed that “SMEs have contributed about 48% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the last five years. They also account for 96% of operational businesses and 84% of employment. But, despite these significant contributions, SMEs face significant challenges, including lack of right-sized and right-priced financing.”
Therefore, in delivering real value to the SME sector, the Growth Board will restructure current market segments along a company’s entire lifecycle. For instance, it will offer issuers the opportunity to either list on the Entry Segment or Standard Segment. The Entry Segment is for companies with a market capitalization from N50m, while the other segment is for institutions with a market capitalization from N500m. Also, the segmentation will provide alternative options for interested investors to participate in each company’s growth journey.
To achieve the listed company’s growth strategy and listing objective, The Exchange will also be collaborating with various strategic business partners and value-added service providers.
Olumide Bolumole, Head, Listings Business Division, NSE says “the Growth Board is 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.”
Mr Onyema added “we have partnered with relevant stakeholders to design a suite of cost-effective services to give listed companies a competitive edge within their respective industries while stimulating investors’ interests through enhanced information delivery. These services include pre-listing diagnostics, Institutional Services (including audit services, financial advisory, legal advisory, corporate strategic advisory), Investor Relations, Analyst Coverage, Corporate Access and Corporate Governance.”
To conclude Onyema has invited other growth companies at the launch and others listed in the 2019 Companies to Inspire Africa (CTIA) to join in the Growth Board Ecosystem. He also urged them to use the platform to achieve their strategic business objectives.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange
The Nigerian Stock Exchange services is championing the development of Africa’s financial markets. It was created in 1960 and began full operation in 1961. The NSE is licensed under the Investments and Securities Act (ISA). Also, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria regulates its affairs.
Popularly called NSE or The Exchange, its services include; listing and trading, licensing, market data solutions, ancillary technology services and many more.
NSE is committed to adopting the highest levels of international standards. To support this commitment, it belongs to a number of international and regional organizations that promote the development and integration of global best practices across its operations.
NSE is a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE). Also, a member of Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, the SIIA’s Financial Information Services Division (FISD) and the Intermarket Surveillance Group (ISG). It is a founding member and executive committee member of the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA).
Till date, NSE has continued to meet the needs of its valued customers and achieve the highest level of competitiveness. It is an open, professionals and vibrant exchange, that connects Nigeria, Africa and the world.
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