By Nkiruka Nnorom & Bisola Ologunde
The Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, yesterday kicked off a new listing platform, Premium Board and the associated Premium Board Index, with the admission of Dangote Cement Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Zenith Bank Plc’s shares.
Already, the NSE has two listing platforms –the Main Board and Alternative Securities Market (ASeM) – through which companies seeking listing on the NSE can come on board the Exchange. The launch of the Premium Board yesterday, therefore brought the total number of platforms available for prospective quoted companies to three.
Accordingly, 17.41 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each of Dangote Cement were migrated to the new board; 35.89 billion ordinary shares of FBN Holdings plc were also admitted, while 31.39 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each of Zenith Bank Plc were migrated.
The companies that qualified for the Premium Board – Dangote Cement Plc, FBN Holdings, and Zenith Bank have capitalisation of N2.87 trillion, N277.70 billion and N587.43 billion respectively.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, explained that the new platform is for companies that have manifested excellent corporate governance structure over time and also met the NSE set standard.
He further stated that companies seeking to migrate from the Main Board to the prestigious Premium Board must score 70 per cent or above of the Exchange’s corporate governance rating, as well as have N200 billion or more in market capitalisation.
He added that such companies must pass the Exchange’s liquidity test, which is N40 billion or 20 per cent of their market capital, while each of the directors must scale through a fiduciary awareness test.
“The Premium Board is one result of our commitment to place corporate governance front and centre as a way to improve the climate for doing business in Africa. We expect that companies on the Board will enjoy the highest levels of visibility and appeal to investors looking for large companies with the highest standards of corporate governance” Onyema said.