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SEC, NSE Target 700 SMEs for Listing

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) are intensifying efforts to  get some of the 700 small and medium scale enterprises  (SMEs) in the Onitsha and Nnewi business district of  Anambra State to  list on the exchange.

The Director-General of   SEC, Ms. Arunma Oteh and Chief Executive Officer of   NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema,  were at the inauguration of  SAB Miller Breweries Limited and   Orient Petroleum Refinery Limited by President Goodluck Jonathan last week, a  move THISDAY gathered, was part of  strategies to woo the firms to the capital market.

THISDAY’s checks revealed that Oteh went a step further by holding meetings with  some  members of the business community among whom are entrepreneurs  as  part of  a capital market outreach  organised by the commission  in Anambra  state last week.

Oteh was said to have stressed the need for  entrepreneurs to access the capital market for long -term funds to finance their businesses instead of   depending on other sources of funding that are less cost effective.

The SEC boss who confirmed the meetings, emphasised that the capital market provided the best possible opportunity for sourcing medium and long term capital / finance for business expansion.

“A lot of   businessmen in Onitsha, for instance, are very smart business people who have brilliant ideas on how to grow their businesses and ensure that they create wealth.  But one of your greatest challenges is usually how or where to source the capital from with which to execute such ideas.
“Their personal savings are typically not able to finance the ideas for business expansion which many of them have. Neither will borrowings from their friends and relations suffice. The banks will offer them no solace on this score because they offer them short time funds while their ideas have long gestation periods. This is why the capital market is very suitable for them,” Oteh said.

A source close to NSE, Onitsha branch confirmed that the exchange was already in talks with some of the prospective SMEs, assuring that necessary steps were being taken to ensure they get the needed support to list on the Nigerian bourse.

According to the source, the NSE’s decision to review its listing rules was part of efforts to encourage the  listing  of more firms in the Nigerian capital market.

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