By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Access Bank Plc 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 United Bank of Africa (UBA), 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.
Commenting on the migration, 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 comapnies 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.
NAN reports that 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.
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.
NAN reports that 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.