Bloomberg News

Nigeria Market Regulator to Examine Bourse Demutualization

September 29, 2011

(Updates with SEC chairman’s quote in fourth paragraph.)

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission set up a committee to advise on a plan by the West African nation’s bourse to give shares to members through demutualization, Chairman Udoma Udo Udoma said.

The committee, which was inaugurated last week, has three months to come up with recommendations for the Nigerian Stock Exchange, sub-Saharan Africa’s second-biggest, Udoma said at a conference in Johannesburg today.

President Goodluck Jonathan started a clean-up of the country’s banking industry in 2009, relaxed visa requirements for business travelers and started a trade and investment portfolio under Minister Olusegun Aganga in July to attract investment to capital markets. Nigeria’s stocks index has plunged 70 percent since reaching its peak in February 2008. The gauge has lost 20 percent this quarter, making it sub-Saharan Africa’s worst performer in the period.

“We are taking steps to make the Nigerian capital market globally competitive through strengthening the legal and regulatory framework,” Udoma said. “These efforts are being supported by the economic reforms of the government. The only way for the NSE to be accountable on a sustainable basis is to demutualize.”

A Finance Ministry task force is being set up to explore ways of attracting companies in the telecommunications, oil and gas industries to start trading on the bourse, Udoma said.

Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., the state-owned oil company that holds an average 57 percent stake in joint ventures with companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and Exxon Mobil Corp., may list after lawmakers pass a bill to regulate the oil industry, SEC head Arunma Oteh said on June 23. Nigeria is the continent’s biggest produce of crude.

--Editors: Ana Monteiro, Alan Purkiss

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gunnion in Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at

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