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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has launched its Growth Board to provide issuers, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with opportunities to leverage on the Exchange for listing, raising long term capital and facilitating liquidity in the trading of their shares.

Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Oscar N. Onyema, disclosed that the initiative was established to elevate the Nigerian capital market and meet the needs of businesses at every phase of their lifecycle. According to him, the Alternative Securities Market board, which is a second-tier market, will be phased out.

The Growth Board is expected to encourage the listing of some of the 41.5million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operating in Nigeria and provide them with a cost-effective platform to raise the capital needed to scale, attract investors, enhance corporate visibility and put in place a regulatory structure that fosters growth.

Head, Listings Business Division, NSE, Olumide Bolumole, said, “The Growth Board is expected to attract small to medium-sized companies that exhibit the potential for fast growth in their corporate earnings and are in the growth phase of their business cycle.“

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The Growth Board offers two way of listing, the entry and the standard segment. The board offers relaxed entry criteria as well as less stringent ongoing listing requirements and allows for greater accessibility to capital flows, global visibility and credibility through corporate disclosures.

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For instance, the Entry Segment of the board is for companies with a market capitalization from ₦50 million and the standard segment for institutions with a market capitalization from ₦500 million. The segmentation of the boards also provides alternative options for interested investors to participate in each company’s growth journey.

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Also, in a bid to ensure and promote sustainability of the board, the Exchange is collaborating with various strategic business partners and value-added service providers to offer cost-effective services designed to create a competitive edge for listed companies within their respective industries.

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Some of the value-added services are pre-listing diagnostics, Institutional Services (including audit services, financial advisory, legal advisory, corporate strategic advisory); Investor Relations; Analyst Coverage, Corporate Access and Corporate Governance.

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The Exchange will 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.

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“I would like to invite growth companies and companies indicated in the CTIA report to join the NSEs Growth Board ecosystem and use the platform to achieve their strategic business objectives,” Onyema said.

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