Photograph — Coins Network

In what appears to be a deviation from the norm, officials from the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) have been on a roadshow across Africa this week to scout for potential new listings from the continent.

Prior to this move by LSEG, African companies have usually had to undergo a rigorous procedure and meet several stringent requirements to get listed on the trading platform, which is one of the biggest in the world.

However, as revealed by the Exchange’s Director of Emerging Markets and International Markets, Ibukun Adebayo, the roadshow which is part of a United Nations initiative is aimed at boosting the LSE’s 115 African listings.

The LSEG will be working in partnership with African exchanges – including Nigeria and Kenya – over possible dual listings. “If a company has an international strategic growth plan, then the LSE is a perfect vehicle for the company to come and list,” Adebayo said in Nairobi.

The Director added that the London-based Group can help work with local partners on behalf of companies that need to raise money in the domestic market and increase the number of investors available to it.

Following a similar visit to South Africa two months ago, some of the planned destinations for the roadshow are Nairobi, Angola, Abidjan, Cairo, and Casablanca. A final roadshow in New York is planned to showcase the companies to African investors as part of the UN initiative.

African companies are particularly well-represented in LSE and the relationship dates back to the 1930s when the first African company listed its shares in London.  In total, there are 111 African companies listed or trading in London, more than on any other international exchange. The collective worth of African companies on the London market is valued at over $149bn, second only to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Very recently, some firms were named in the LSEG’s listing of Companies to Inspire Africa, which the exchange describes as the continent’s “most inspirational and dynamic private, high-growth companies.”

“The histories of Africa and London Stock Exchange are closely intertwined. We understand the risks and the rewards of the continent and are committed to playing a significant part in Africa’s growth story,” Adebayo said in the report.

With wide access to capital and the vast network of investors that come with a listing on one of the biggest trading platforms in the world, African companies focused on growth and looking to expand have a lot to gain from the LSEG roadshow.

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