Letshego : Namibia's 'Ekwafo Letu' IPO deepens capital markets

02 Oct 2017
Letshego Namibia's listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX), only the second African listing in the Letshego family, adds to the overall deepening of the country's capital markets and diversification of investments. And with the commencement of trading, which took place on Friday morning with the ceremonial ringing of the NSX trading bell, the government takes cognizance of the confidence Letshego has expressed in the Namibian economy, said finance minister Calle Schlettwein.
 
'With this listing Letshego has taken a dive into the shark pool, but this is a well-prepared dive that you were truly prepared for,' said Schlettwein at the bell ringing ceremony, referring metaphorically to Letshego's entrance into the realm of speculative capital markets.
 
'A strong capital market benefits the local economy in providing a credible option for international, regional and local investors to participate in Namibia's growth potential. Apart from raising equity capital and trading, stock exchanges play a key role in the distribution of income and wealth creation in the economy. The listing of Letshego Namibia contributes to these national objectives as expressed in the Financial Sector Strategy and National Development Plans through Letshego's inclusiveness and localisation imperatives. It is through inclusiveness that the distributional objective is most attained and inclusiveness is a prerequisite for sustainable economic growth,' Schlettwein added.
 
Chairman of the NSX, David Nuyoma, said he was delighted that the Letshego listing took place at this stage of the country's economic history, particularly while the country's was weathering the current economic storm.
 
'The essence of the NSX is that is a platform of opportunities to give everyone a voice in quality companies that have been properly vetted,' said Nuyoma, adding that the opportunity to invest in Letshego will be open for the foreseeable future.
 
Commenting on Letshego Namibia's listing, Tiaan Bazuin, chief executive officer of the NSX, said: 'I am extremely pleased with the successful listing of Letshego. There has been a lot of talk about localisation in the Namibian market and this listing shows the best way, in my mind, to achieve this goal.'
 
Letshego Namibia's market capitalisation will be N$1.9 billion, representing six percent of the NSX's primary listings market capitalisation. Over 3,600 qualifying applications, valued at a total of N$182 million, were received during the four-week share offer period.
 
Members of the public and non-institutional investors contributed N$40 million towards this total, with the remaining N$142 million raised through offers from leading institutional investors.
 
'Not only does our listing demonstrate our commitment to Namibia, but also our focus on delivering value to more than 3,200 PDN's and companies that have invested in our future growth story. We wish to thank all our stakeholders, the public, companies and investors for their invaluable support and personal contribution. We look forward to a successful partnership as we expand our business and access to simple and appropriate financial solutions for Namibians who typically do not have access to banking products,' said Letshego Namibia CEO Ester Kali.