Diamond Bank Listed on London Stock Exchange
This Day (Lagos)10 January 2008, Moses Obajemu
Diamond Bank Plc made history yesterday across the shores of the land 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, according to a statement from the bank, was the ringing of the bell by the Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank, Mr. Emeka Onwuka, signalling the starting of trading on the floor of the London Stock Exchange. The event was witnessed by captains of industries, top government dignitaries including the chairman of Diamond Bank, HRM Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe; Mr. Pascal Dozie, Founder, Diamond Bank; and Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Prof Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke. Also among the dignitaries were the Director General of the Nigeria Security and Exchange Commission, Mr. Al Faki; and 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, Diamond Bank CEO said “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”. Head of Primary Market, London Stock Exchange, Tracy Pierce, also 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.”
In the same vein, Okereke-Onyiuke did not hide her emotions. She said: “This is a major fulfilment 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 37.6 million newly issued GDRs, each 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 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.
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