Did Airtel Africa’s listing drag MTN Nigeria’s shares down on the NSE?

MTN Nigeria performed poorly today on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the same day its local rival,Airtel Africa, listed its shares on the Nigerian bourse in a cross border listing.

Recall that Airtel Africa, last month, listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) where it had a rather disappointing debut. The stock slumped 15%, losing about £400 million of its opening valuation.

But the London performance had little or no effect on the company’s NSE debut today. This is because Airtel began trading at N399.30 kobo per share earlier today and closed flat at N399.30 kobo per share.

Airtel Africa’s successful debut on the Nigerian Stock Exchange is expected to encourage other telecoms companies such as Globacom to list.

Airtel Africa listing on NSE, MTN Nigeria listing on NSE

Why Airtel’s NSE listing is beneficial: Airtel Africa listed 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares at an offering price of N363 per ordinary share. This is expected to benefit both NSE and the company in the following ways;

  • The listing added N1.36 trillion to the market capitalization of The Exchange.
  • It will increase the visibility of Airtel Africa to investors on the continent and across the globe as the company seeks capital to finance its debt.
While reacting to the listing, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema, said the following;
“Listing on the Exchange reaffirms Airtel Africa’s long-term commitment to expanding opportunities and providing everyday services to Africans and Nigerians in particular. 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.
“Today’s listing is a promising development in Africa with Airtel Africa being the second company to have its ordinary shares listed on both the London Stock Exchange and The Nigerian Stock Exchange. This gives credence to the successful partnership between the two exchanges. I encourage similarly situated companies to explore the different opportunities for raising capital on the Exchange’s platform.” 

Airtel’s lackluster debut on LSE overshadowed the company’s NSE listing. For this reason, some people anticipated a far worse debut. But the company definitely surprised the market, even though the performance could have been better.

In the meantime, MTN Nigeria declined by -0.4% after closing at N129.05 kobo per share. The telco had opened the market at  N129.45 kobo.

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