Nigeria Stock Exchange CEO expects parliament to approve IPO this year


LONDON, March 31 – Legislation paving the way for the eventual listing of shares in the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) should be passed this year with the government supporting the move, the bourse’s chief executive Oscar Onyema said on Friday.

The bourse, which is owned by stockbrokers and some institutional investors, announced on Thursday it had been given a green light by its members to become a publicly listed company.

Firstly, parliament has to introduce legislation to transform the bourse into a company limited by shares, Onyema said on the sidelines of an event at the London Stock Exchange.

“Once the law and the rules and the corporate structure has been approved by the regulators and legislators we can de-mutualise and get a second member vote and then move forward,” he said, adding he was confident the listing would happen before 2020.

“We are going to decide if we need to raise money, and then how to raise money – whether by listing or strategic partnership or private equity,” he said.

The bourse’s primary listing would be in Lagos, with the option of a secondary one abroad, Onyema added.

The second-biggest bourse in sub-Saharan Africa after Johannesburg, the NSE is a main entry point for investors in Africa and has around 200 listed companies, all included in its benchmark share index.

However, share dealing tumbled 40 percent in 2016 due to the country’s restrictive foreign currency regime.