Airtel Africa Plc on Tuesday listed 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares on the main board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
The NSE said the shares were listed at an offer price of N363 per ordinary share, which lifted the total market capitalisation of the Exchange from N12.909tn on Monday to N14.288tn.
The Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa, Mr Raghunath Mandava, said the company was delighted to be listed on the main board of the Exchange.
“This is an exciting time for Airtel Africa in the 14 countries it operates in and an important milestone in our development as a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in Africa,” he said.
The secondary listing of Airtel Africa, the second-largest operator on the continent after MTN, was initially billed for last week but was postponed.
Airtel has been worried about the market’s appetite for telecos in emerging markets. Last month, Airtel Africa’s shares plunged on the London exchange by about 16%. It had raised about $750m during that listing.
Airtel had announced that the listing was of 39,227,968 ordinary shares at N363 per share. They ended the day with a tidy rise, reaching N399.3. It was a boost for the Nigerian market, as worries mount about the country’s political go-slows and economic direction.
The Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, expressed the commitment of the the company to building a leadership position in the country, describing Nigeria as a great place for business.
He noted that investors had been interested to hear the company’s story to invest in the business and share the future with them.
Ogunsanya, said the African market has economies with improved GDP growth rates, and a fast-rising youth population, which were opportunities for growth.
Ogunsanya said that with Airtel Africa’s operations in 14 countries, the company was prepared to enable improved connectivity and deepen financial inclusion.
In terms of strategy the Airtel Nigeria CEO stated that the company was exploring the following areas;
Opportunities for Mobile Money
Increasing Data Penetration
Reaching out to the Unbanked Population
Increasing the Mobile Subscriber base
According to him, “It is difficult to be big in Africa, without playing big in Nigeria.”
The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema, commended Airtel Africa for taking the bold step to list on the Exchange.
He said, “Listing on the Exchange reaffirms Airtel Africa’s long-term commitment to expanding opportunities and providing everyday services to Africans and Nigerians in particular.
“It also indicates the firm’s belief that our platform, which has a total market capitalisation of N25.20tn across various asset classes, remains a veritable avenue for raising capital and enabling sustainable national growth.
“This listing serves to deepen the telecoms and technology sector for investors and provides an opportunity for a wider group of Nigerians to be part of the African telecoms growth story.”
Airtel Africa is the parent company of Airtel in 14 African countries, including Nigeria. Nigeria is Airtel’s biggest African market, and it held 26.3% of market share in May of this year, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission. That puts it just behind Globacom (26.8%) and well behind South Africa’s MTN (37.4%).