LAGOS, March 9 The Nigerian Stock Exchange plans
to seek approval from its members on March 30 to proceed with
the process of becoming a publicly listed company, it said.
Nigeria's bourse, the second-biggest in sub-Saharan Africa
after Johannesburg and one of the main entry points to invest in
Africa, is currently owned by stockbrokers and some
It has around 200 listed companies, all included in its
benchmark share index.
The equities market in Africa's largest economy, was until
2013 one of the world's best performing frontier markets but low
liquidity levels and currency restrictions have now deterred
This year, shares in the oil producing-nation have lost
around 7 percent to add to the 6.2 percent loss last year
reflecting an economic crisis there caused by low oil prices.
But on Thursday stocks rose to their highest level in a week
in naira terms after the governmnent said it was determined to
tackle the crisis this year. Stock also surged to a 16-year high
in dollar terms.
As a first step, Nigeria's stock exchange will change its
ownership structure from a mutual company of brokers to add new
shareholders in a process known as "demutualisation".
It hopes this will help it improve transparency, product
development and deepen the market, leading to more inflows from
foreign investors, analysts say.
Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the continent's biggest
and most developed stock market, has been a listed company since
Nigeria appointed South African bank FirstRand and
local investment firm Chapel Hill Denham to guide it through the
process of becoming a listed company. The stock exchange said it
will ratify their appointment at the meeting this month.
The bourse has said it will fast-track the listing of
exchange traded derivatives this year to help investors manage
risk and has created a counterparty clearing house to support
(Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Toby Chopra)