All investors want to buy stocks low and sell high. This, after all, is the basis for investing in anything from stocks to bonds to real estate. But to sell any stock you want an investor will hope that there are willing buyers and vice versa. One provision that makes it possible is a free float.  

What’s a free-float: A free-float basically means the number of outstanding shares of a company that is liquid and tradeable on the stock exchange. These are shares that have been dematerialized and exist on the stock exchange for investors to buy or sell.  

According to listing rules, stocks quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange must have a free float requirement of about 20% of their issued and fully paid-up shares. This provision is the same for companies listed on the Main and Premium Board.  

Free float defaulters: According to data from the Nigerian Stock Exchange about 22 companies fail its free float requirements. This means if you find yourself owning these shares you may find it difficult to sell. Worst still if you are looking to buy these stocks you might not find a seller. Stocks that fail free float requirements are mostly illiquid and are often associated with issues such as late filing of results, limited investor participation, less coverage of their results by stockbrokers, fund managers, and research organisations.  

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