Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: NSE to Expand Ownership, May Sell Shares

The Nigerian Stock Exchange plans to expand its ownership including selling its shares to the public, Chief Executive Officer Oscar Onyema said.

The framework for the changes in the ownership structure to bring in local and foreign investors will be released this year, Onyema said today at a conference in Lagos, the commercial capital. "We expect that to bring improvements in funding, technology and market competitiveness."

The exchange wants to achieve a target of N157 trillion ($1 trillion) market capitalisation by 2016, he said.

Its market capitalisation rose by 44 percent to N14.8 trillion naira ($94 billion) in 2012, according to Onyema.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC and the NSE have been working assiduously towards demutualizing the NSE for the past few years.

Demutualization is a process for turning an exchange from a mutual association, usually owned by stockbrokers and other stakeholders, into a for-profit company. It can split ownership from licences to trade and in some cases, such as London and Johannesburg, the stock exchange itself becomes a listed entity.

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