The Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday migrated the ordinary shares of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc to its Premium Board, in what capital market analysts describe as an attestation to the Bank’s strong adherence to international best practices on corporate governance.
The Premium Board is the newly created platform for elite companies that meet the most stringent corporate governance and listing standards of the Exchange.
According to the CEO of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema, UBA Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc and Access Bank Plc were admitted on this elite platform, having fulfilled all the stringent listing requirements for the Premium Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. It is a platform for showcasing sector leaders, with sound corporate governance.
“Premium Board features companies that adhere to international best practices on corporate governance and meet the Exchange’s highest standards of capitalisation and liquidity,” Onyema said.
According to Onyema, UBA Plc, Lafarge Africa, Seplat and Access Bank have all passed the Corporate Governance Rating System and have market capitalization of N374.48bn, N391.37bn N378.60bn and N347.12bn respectively.
Onyema added, “companies on the Board are well-run corporates with sound governance, which is part of the requisite qualification for listing on the Premium Board. These stocks which currently have strong visibility on the Exchange will further appeal to investors, seeking to invest in companies with the highest standards of corporate governance. From inception to date, the Premium Board Index continues to outperform the benchmark NSE ASI with the Premium Board recording a total return of 85% per cent, compared to the NSE ASI’s return of 42% over the same period.
UBA, Seplat, Lafarge and Access would join Dangote Cement Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, and Zenith International Bank Plc on the Premium Board, bringing the total number of companies on this elite platform to seven.
Speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Kennedy Uzoka noted; “the migration of UBA shares to the Premium Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is well deserved. It is instructive to bring back memories of our pioneer Initial Public Offer (IPO) in the Nigerian banking sector, following our listing on the NSE in 1970. Since then, we have remained committed to the development of the NSE and the broader capital market, through our equity and debt listings as well as strategic partnerships with the leaderships of the Nigerian capital market.
More so, this premium listing of UBA shares is a further attestation of our size and the liquidity of the stock on the Exchange. It is also reinforcing of our continuously evolving sound corporate governance, which is a pre-requisite for companies to be listed on the Premium Board of the NSE. In expectation that this premium listing will further enhance the visibility of our stock on the Nigerian Bourse, we believe our decision to migrate UBA shares to this new Board will deepen value creation for our shareholders. It is pertinent to reiterate our commitment to sustainable and superior wealth creation for all shareholders, as we duly appreciate and place significant premium on everyone’s investment in UBA Group, Kennedy added”.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman of UBA Plc, Tony O. Elumelu said that “the migration of UBA shares to the newly created Premium Board of the Exchange is a deserving recognition of the size, liquidity and sound corporate governance of the Group. I congratulate the Management and Staff of UBA Group on this positive recognition.”
He added: “I laud the leadership of the NSE for Premium Board initiative, which I consider to be a progressive classification, as it should provide relevant visibility for prime stocks listed on the NSE and perhaps help discerning investors in their stock selection and broader investment decision process. I expect stocks listed on the Premium Board to attract the justified premium valuation, which they truly deserve, as large-cap companies with proven record of sound corporate governance and stock liquidity. I would expect the NSE or any of the major brokerage houses to develop an index around the Premium Board, as this my further deepen the market and create the much-needed products and liquidity for the Nigerian equity market.”