- NSE Grants Listing Waiver to Airtel, Admits Shares Today
The Nigerian Stock Exchange says it granted a listing waiver to Airtel Africa Plc as the company did not meet the minimum requirement of 300 shareholders as of the day the listing was approved by the National Council of the Exchange.
The NSE said in a circular on Thursday that Airtel Africa, the parent company of Airtel Nigeria, would be listing through a cross border secondary listing at N363 per share, following an Initial Public Offering by way of book building.
Secondary listing arises when securities already listed on a primary exchange are subsequently listed on other securities exchanges. The issuer is not subjected to the full requirements applicable to listing on the other securities exchange(s) at which it seeks a secondary listing.
In this case, Airtel Africa’s primary listing exchange is the London Stock Exchange while the NSE is the secondary listing exchange.
The NSE said Airtel Africa Plc would be listed on the Main Board of the Exchnage, subject to regulatory approvals.
It said Airtel, through an IPO by way of book building, issued 39,227,968 ordinary shares of $0.50 each at N363 per share in Nigeria and 637,178,959 ordinary shares of $0.50 each at £0.80 per share in London.
“The company is, however, listing its entire issued share capital of 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares at $0.5 per share on the LSE and NSE. The value of the total shares to be listed in Nigeria is N1.36tn, based on the listing price of N363,” the NSE said.
The circular read in part, “The book building was at an offer price range of 80 pence and 100 pence per ordinary share and is to be admitted to the premium listing segment of the official list of the Financial Conduct Authority and to trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
“In Nigeria, a price range of N363 and N454 per ordinary share was offered to qualified institutional and high net worth investors as defined in Rule 321 of Rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria.”
It added that the free float of the company was computed as the percentage of shareholders holding less than five per cent of the company’s issued share capital with no representation on the board.
According to the NSE, the free float of Airtel across the LSE and the NSE at the close of the book building is about 25 per cent.
It noted that because Airtel had a secondary listing status on the NSE, it would be required to comply with the rules of its place of primary listing, as well as such other rules of the NSE as may be applicable.
“Having two big telecommunications companies in our market is a testament of the Exchange’s commitment to building a dynamic and inclusive market and creating channels for sustainable investment,” the bourse said.
It added, “These listings create telecoms and technology asset class for investors and provide opportunities for a wider group of Nigerians to be part of the Nigerian telecom growth story.
CBN Extends Letter of Credit Issuance Timeline Amid Forex Crisis
Move Aims to Address FX Scarcity Challenges and Enhance Customer Service
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced an extension of the timeline for issuing letters of credit from 24 hours to five working days, according to the newly approved 2023 service charter.
This adjustment comes as the country grapples with foreign exchange scarcity, impacting local and international trade.
The 2020 service charter initially stipulated a 24-hour timeline for the issuance and management of letters of credit, but the updated charter now reflects a timeline extension to five working days.
Also, the CBN has prolonged the timeline for the registration of Form M and NXP from 24 hours to two working days.
The move follows the CBN’s unification of all forex market segments in June 2023, aimed at promoting liquidity and stability.
However, this measure appears to have led to increased market instability, with the naira losing nearly a fifth of its value.
Reports indicate that foreign suppliers are now rejecting letters of credit from Nigerian businesses, affecting the importation of goods and services.
Letters of credit are crucial for the payment of visible goods imports, wherein a bank commits in writing to pay the exporter a specified sum within a defined timeframe upon receipt of proper documentation from the customer.
The extended timelines for letters of credit, Forms M, and NXP in the service charter are seen as measures to manage cash flow and instill confidence in the process amidst the ongoing forex crisis.
CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso stressed the commitment to responsive and citizen-friendly governance through efficient, responsible, and transparent service delivery in the revised service charter.
The move is part of the CBN’s effort to comply with the Business Facilitation Act 2022 and enhance ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Unity Bank MD Advocates Policy Actions to Stem Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria
The Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun has called for comprehensive policy actions that will dismantle the structures that enable gender-based violence in Nigeria.
At the Ebony Life Cinema, the venue of the film screening in Lagos, Unity Bank supported the BECKMA movie premiere by ARDA Development Commuications Inc. which was held to highlight issues of Gender-Based violence and driving positive change in society.
Making the call, Somefun stated that the Bank committed to partnering with the movie premiere and putting the power of the brand behind BECKMA as the event brings sustainability and gender equality to the front burner.
Represented by Unity Bank’s Group Head of Compliance, Mrs. Patricia Ahunanya, Somefun noted that “9 percent of women aged 15 to 49 had suffered sexual assault at least once in their lifetime and 31% had experienced physical violence,” citing a recent study by UNDP in Nigeria.
Speaking further, Somefun said “Gender-based violence is not just a women’s issue, but a societal ill that demands our collective attention. It is high time for us to step forward and advocate for comprehensive policy actions that will dismantle the structures allowing such atrocities to persist”.
She added, “I urge policymakers to enact stringent laws against gender-based violence, ensuring swift and severe consequences for perpetrators. Our homes and various organisations must also be a catalyst for change, inspiring others to follow suit.”
While commending the ARDA Development Communications Inc. for their initiatives to promote gender equality and empowerment in line with SDG5, Somefun assured of the Bank’s commitment to sustainable initiatives and further collaborative initiatives and advocacy programmes for the elimination of gender-based violence.
Nigeria’s NIBSS Directs Banks to Disconnect Non-Deposit Financial Institutions from NIP System
Banks in Nigeria have received a directive from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) to disconnect Switches, Payment Solution Service Providers (PSSPs), and Super Agents from the NIBSS Instant Payment Outwards System.
The circular, dated December 5, 2023, highlighted that including these non-deposit-taking financial institutions as beneficiaries on the NIP funds transfer channels violates the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) guideline on electronic payments.
The NIBSS emphasized that while Switches, PSSPs, and Super Agents might process outward transfers as inflows to banks, their licenses do not permit them to hold customers’ funds.
The circular referred to the CBN’s guidelines on electronic payment of salaries, pensions, suppliers, and taxes, dated February 2014, as the basis for this regulatory stance.
The directive also pointed to a circular dated May 11, 2018, titled “Permissible Services and Products of PSSP Operation in Nigeria,” reinforcing the need for compliance.
As a result, banks were urged to delist all Switches, PSSPs, and Super Agents from the NIP Outward Transfer channels while allowing their participation in inward transfers.
In Nigeria’s payment ecosystem, operators are required to obtain licenses such as Switching and Processing, Mobile Money Operations, Payment Solution Services, or Regulatory Sandbox from the CBN.
Only Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) have the authority to hold customer funds, according to the CBN’s regulatory framework.
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