Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX or The Exchange) has continued to be the preferred listing destination for companies seeking to raise capital via corporate bonds, equities and even private companies looking to raise public capital.
Market stakeholders were excited to learn last week that MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN) Plc is taking advantage of this opportunity and has obtained the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the offer for sale of up to 575 million ordinary shares in MTNN held by the MTN Group.
Capital is critical for business growth, NGX plays a critical role in the capital formation process by mobilizing long-term savings to finance long-term investors and helping issuers and investors meet their objectives. In 2021, NGX has facilitated needed financing of over ₦6.71Tn raised by governments and corporates across various asset classes. Notable among these transactions is Emzor Pharmaceuticals’ N13.7 billion 5-Year Series 1 Fixed rate Senior Unsecured Bond listed exclusively on NGX in April 2021 and being the first public instrument issued by the company. Also notable is BUA Cement’s debut listing of a N115 billion Bond issue, the largest of many corporate debt issuances in the history of the Nigerian capital market.
Attention has now shifted to the equities market where MTNN will float the first Public Offer of 2021. The offer commenced by way of a book build to institutional investors (Institutional Offer), and subsequently, a fixed price to retail investors (Retail Offer). The Institutional Offer opened on 23 November 2021 to close on 26 November 26, after which a fixed price will be determined for the Retail Offer. Book building is a process that assists companies determine the price of their shares, with the help of investment bankers, when offering them in an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
What is also interesting to note about this offer is that NGX has received ‘No Objection’ from the apex regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to establish and deploy an electronic platform for use in the e-offering of MTNN’s public offer. The electronic platform, Primary Offer is sponsored by NGX and will provide retail investors with access to various capital market products and issuances from the convenience of their mobile devices. Primary Offer reinforces NGX’s commitment to promoting financial inclusion and retail investor participation in the market. With other platforms such as the X-DataPortal, X-Factbook and X-Mobile, stakeholders are increasingly empowered to make sound investment decisions and maximise value.
MTNN has certainly had an interesting journey with NGX. It would be recalled that on 16 May 2019, the company listed by introduction 20.35 billion ordinary shares of MTNN at N90 per share, on the Premium Board. This made MTNN the first telecommunications network provider to be listed on the NGX Premium Board, a listing segment for the elite group of issuers that meet The Exchange’s most stringent corporate governance and listing standards. At the time of the listing, NGX noted that, “Having MTNN listed in our market is a testament of The Exchange’s commitment to building a dynamic and inclusive market and creating channels for sustainable investment. This listing will promote liquidity for MTNN, enhance its value and increase transparency, as our platform remains one of the best avenues for raising capital and enabling sustainable growth for national development”.
2021 has certainly shaped up to be an exciting year for NGX and this MTNN PO is an interesting way to wrap up a year of many milestone achievements. Stakeholders are excited to see NGX live up to its commitment to be an open and vibrant exchange, constantly evolving to meet the needs of its stakeholders and look forward to many more strategic opportunities like this.