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NSE partners stakeholders to boost firms on growth board

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• Urges CTIA to leverage platform for strategic objective

To achieve listed company’s development strategy as well listing objective in the newly-launched, Growth Board, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), yesterday, said it is working with various strategic business partners and value added service providers to offer cost effective services to companies on the board.
   
The NSE Growth Board is designed to encourage growth-oriented companies with good corporate governance standards to list. It also aims to drive companies with high growth potential to seize the opportunity of raising long-term capital and promote liquidity.
   
The Board targets fast growth companies such as SMEs operating in various sectors.According to the Exchange, the partnership would create a competitive edge for listed companies within their respective industries, while stimulating investors’ interest through enhanced information delivery.Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Oscar Onyema, while addressing market participants at the launch of the platform, in Lagos, said services such as pre-listing diagnostics; Institutional Services (including audit services, financial advisory, legal advisory, corporate strategic advisory); Investor Relations; Analyst Coverage, Corporate Access and Corporate Governance would be made available to these companies.

   
Furthermore, he pointed out that the Exchange would also provide tailored training on its learning and development platform ‘X-Academy’ for capacity development, and to promote increased corporate governance for board and employees of companies on the Growth Board. He equally urged companies indicated in the Companies to Inspire Africa (CTIA) report, to leverage the Growth Board ecosystem and achieve their strategic business objectives.
     
He said: “The traditional role of the Exchange as an enabler of capital flow from areas of surplus to deficit holds good promise for its capability to support SMEs, as access to capital is the prime challenge faced by companies that are active in the SME sector.
 
“The SME space remains critical to the growth of the economy.  Despite these significant contributions by SMEs to the Nigerian economy, the reality and headwinds faced by operators in this segment are quite daunting.“The economic landscape in recent years has been quite challenging for corporates with small and medium scale enterprises experiencing some of the difficulties observed in the Nigerian macro landscape.
 
He continued: “These companies have seen declining productivity rates largely caused by deficiencies in power supply; substandard trade facilitation infrastructure; lack of right sized and right-priced financing, multiplicity of taxes/levies/fees; lack of innovation; and limited availability of requisite talent. This is further compounded with an absence of needed corporate governance to ensure maximised capacity utilization and profitability for the companies.

“The Growth Board aims to encourage companies with high growth potential to seize the opportunity of raising long-term capital and promote liquidity in the trading of their shares. The board also presents as an avenue for companies in their growth phase to leverage the NSEs platform and varied products and services to achieve their long-term business objectives.”
   
On the entry criteria, Onyema said the Board is designed to offer relaxed entry criteria as well as less-stringent ongoing listing requirements that allow for greater accessibility to capital flows, global visibility, and credibility through corporate disclosures.
   
“The growth board also restructures current market segments to better meet needs along company’s entire lifecycle i.e. entry segment – for companies with a market capitalisation from ₦50 million and standard market for institutions with a market capitalisation from ₦500 million.He added: “The segmentation of the boards also provides alternative options for interested investors to participate in each company’s growth journey.”


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