Nigerian Bourse May List Fewer Than 10 Companies This Year

The Nigerian Stock Exchange, sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest bourse after South Africa’s, will probably list fewer than 10 companies this year, Taba Peterside, its head of listings, said.

“It’s very much a pipeline process, this year we’ve had one listing, which is an indigenous company” she said today in an interview in Lagos, the commercial capital. “We’ve seen a lot of companies which maybe were targeting third and fourth quarter now going into the next year.”

The exchange of Africa’s biggest oil producer is aiming for a market value of $1 trillion by 2016 from just under $80 billion currently, Peterside said. The bourse wants more companies to list to increase the size and volume traded and has identified around 500 potential candidates.

The West African nation’s All-Share Index has risen 9 percent this year, after a 16 percent slump in 2011.

For some larger companies “there’s also the issue of watching the market, a lot of them are sitting on the sidelines because of what has happened in the last two or three years, even though in the last quarter we’ve seen an uptick,” said Peterside.

The exchange in February relaxed its requirements for the mining industry to encourage listing of shares by oil and gas companies, allowing them to be listed based on their exploration license and the proven quantities of their reserves.

Other companies with market values of more than 500 billion naira ($3.1 billion) at the initial public offering, would also get a deferral or exemption from the minimum public float requirement, the bourse said at the time.

“In terms of readiness the upstream oil and gas is the one we are seeing the greatest momentum in terms of people preparing to list, especially since we changed the listing requirement to be more user friendly,” Peterside said today.

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