Zenith Bank office
Shareholders of Zenith Bank Plc Wednesday endorsed plans by the bank to effect a dual listing of its shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) through a Global Depository Receipt.
A GDR is a tool used to facilitate investments and trading in the shares of companies from emerging markets.
The approval was given at the bank’s Extra-ordinary General Meeting (EGM) held in Lagos Wednesday.
National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Sunny Nwosu, commended the bank for the initiative.
Chairman, Zenith Bank, Mr. Steve Omojafor, said the dual listing of the bank on the LSE, would give the bank access to international investors, particularly Global Emerging Markets (GEM) and other specialist investors, thus increasing visibility.
He added: “This will also increase liquidity of our Shares, which brings greater ability to use international debt/equity market for future capital raises, lowering cost of capital.
“It will also give additional comfort to investors as a result of the London Corporate Governance standards, increase coverage by international analysts and increasing demand for Zenith Bank stock from international GEM investors, which will enhance liquidity and valuation and lead to a perception of ‘best in class’ corporate governance.”
For existing shareholders of the bank, Omojafor said the move would lead to increased demand for Zenith Bank shares, which according to him, would translate to increase in share price.
This, he added, would also ensure that shareholders enjoy the benefit of Zenith Bank being subjected to regulatory requirements.
“It will also ensure that shareholders don’t suffer any dilution of their shareholding,” he noted.
However, the deal is subject to regulatory approval. It would enable Zenith Bank to join the league of four other Nigerian banks - Guaranty Trust Bank, Diamond Bank, United Bank for Africa and First Bank - with GDRs trading in either London or New York.