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Diamond Bank’s GDR shares listed on London Stock Exchange

Posted by By SEUN ADESIDA on 2008/01/11 | Views: 1411 |

Diamond Bank’s GDR shares listed on London Stock Exchange


Diamond Bank Plc made history on Wednesday as it became the first West African bank to be listed on the Professional Securities Market (PSM) of the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Diamond Bank Plc made history on Wednesday as it became the first West African bank to be listed on the Professional Securities Market (PSM) of the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The peak of the epoch making event was the ringing of the bell by Emeka Onwuka, signaling the starting of trading on the floor of the London Stock Exchange, which was witnessed by captains of industry, top government dignitaries, including the chairman of Diamond Bank, HRM Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, Mr. Pascal Dozie, founder, Diamond Bank; DG of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Prof Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, the Director General of the Nigeria Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Al-Faki, Mr. Chuka Eseka; MD, Vetiva Capital Management Limited, who was the Financial Adviser/Domestic co-coordinator for the offer, and a host of others.
Commenting on the admission to the LSE, Mr. Emeka Onwuka, the GMD/CEO of Diamond Bank, stated that “the listing is an important step in the evolution of the bank’s strategy and is aimed at raising stronger capital base, attracting new shareholders, raising its international profile, enhancing the leadership position of Diamond Bank in the middle market and developing the bank into a reputable financial conglomerate”.

In the same light, the Head of Primary Market, London Stock Exchange, Tracy Pierce, stated, “I am personally delighted to welcome Diamond Bank to the London Stock Exchange. This is the second Nigerian company to be listed in the London Stock Exchange and the first Nigerian company to be listed on our Professional Securities Market, and we hope that many more companies from Nigeria will follow.”

Also, the Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, did not hide her emotions as she said: “This is a major fulfillment for me as Diamond Bank has placed Nigeria in the world map, especially the world financial system, by being listed not just in the London Stock Exchange but the first African company/bank to be listed in the Professional Securities Market of the London Stock Exchange. This is because the Professional Securities Market is the cream of the London Stock Exchange and you must pass through a rigorous process before being listed in this market. I do hope that many more Nigerian companies will come and be listed in this market.”

The offer enabled Diamond to raise US$500million through 37.6million newly issued GDRs, each GDR representing 100 ordinary Diamond shares. The settlement price per GDR has been set at $13.30 and will be traded on PSM.

The offer proceed will enable Diamond Bank expand its footprint through traditional and electronic channels in order to seize the growing Nigerian retail market, enter new business segments, like mortgages, insurance, investment banking and also strengthen its Francophone West Africa expansion.
Diamond Bank’s market capitalization post offering is now N263.2billion (US$2.3billion as at January 02, 2008), while its shareholders’ fund is in the excess of N100billion. Morgan Stanley is the Global Coordinator and Sole Bookrunner for the offering.

The bank had its first major foreign equity capital injection in April 2007 when an international consortium, led by Actis Capital LLP, as strategic investor, injected $134 million into it. The investment gave Actis a 19.1 percent stake in the bank. Actis is a leading private equity investor in emerging markets, having significant investments across Africa, China, India, South East Asia and Latin America. Actis’ approach to investment is long-term and partner-oriented.

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