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Access Bank, Lafarge Africa, UBA, Seplat to become Premium Board – NSE

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday announced plans to migrate Access Bank, Lafarge Africa, Seplat and United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc to its Premium Board.

The NSE said in Lagos the four companies would be migrated to its Premium Board on April 16, a sequel to their applications and meeting of its listing requirements for the board.

According to reports, 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 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 capitalization 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 NSE said Access Bank Plc, Lafarge Africa, Seplat and UBA had all passed the Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS).

It added that they had the market capitalization of N347.12 billion, N378.60 billion, N391.37 billion and N374.48 billion respectively.

“They will join Dangote Cement, FBN Holdings Plc., and Zenith International Bank that were migrated to the Premium Board in 2015, bringing the total number of companies on the Board to seven,’’ NSE said in a statement.

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

Onyema said 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 and appeal to investors looking for large companies with highest standards of corporate governance.

“From inception to date, the Premium Board Index continues to outperform the benchmark NSE ASI with the Premium Board recording a total return of 84.99 percent versus the NSE ASI’s 41.79 per cent as at April 11.

“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.

Following reports, it’s to be listed on the Premium Board of the NSE, the aspiring companies must attain a minimum market capitalization of N200 billion as at the date of application, a minimum score of 70 percent on the CGRS.

The companies must maintain a minimum free float of 20 percent 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.

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