Finance Minister Honourable Calle Schlettwein and Chief Executive of Africa Regions for Standard Bank Sola David-Borha rang the bell at exactly 09h00 on Friday morning to symbolise the start of the bank’s trading on the local bourse, with the bank’s staff in full attendance.
Also, in attendance at the ringing of the bell were Standard Bank Namibia Board Chairperson Mr. Herbert Maier as well as Chief Executive Mr. Vetumbuavi Mungunda, NSX Chairperson Mr. David Nuyoma and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Tiaan Bazuin.
To celebrate the occasion, the bank hosted a pre-listing dinner the night before, at which Finance Minister Honourable Calle Schlettwein officiated. He described the listing as a momentous occasion not only for the bank but also for its staff and a manifestation of a working Namibian economy.
He hailed it as a landmark milestone for the bank, marking the listing of 522,471,910 shares on the NSX with the addition of N$4.65 billion to the local stock exchange’s market capitalization.
“The sheer quantum of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 81,140,449 shares, valued at N$722 million is a significant capitalization and value creation in the domestic market,” the Minister observed.
He added that the listing and its over subscription are an expression of the strong confidence of Standard Bank in the domestic economy, on the back of its demonstrated business expansion and footprint spanning over 100 years as one of the countries’ oldest commercial banks.
“Equally, the empowerment stake to over 1,900 employees which preceded the IPO action, at the total initial value of N$300 million, manifests the spirit of inclusive development and wealth creation locally,” Honourable Schlettwein stated.
The staff empowerment transaction, the largest such scheme in terms of transaction value, was concluded in 2015 and at the current listing price its value has increased by 48% to about N$445 million.
Honourable Schlettwein added: “Increased investment in domestic economic activity resonates well with the national development agenda for inclusive and sustainable growth, an agenda which places the people at the centre of development, and an agenda which recognises that only inclusive growth is sustainable growth.”
Honourable Schlettwein said the fact that the IPO was over-subscribed is testimony that there are more than sufficient surplus savings looking for assets, adding that the opportunities with high returns do not only lie in the listed asset space. He observed that unlisted investments in the real and service sectors of the economy promise job creation opportunities and structural transformation of the economy.
Standard Bank Chief Executive, Mr. Vetumbuavi Mungunda has expressed appreciation to Namibians said the listing who have placed their trust in Standard Bank and their prosperity in the hands of the leadership of the bank. He said over 10,000 Namibians have submitted 12,500 applications for shares in the bank.
“Listing of a company on a stock exchange is a commitment to a future, a promise to stakeholders, it is a sharing in the prospects with fellow citizens, and it is a commitment to transparency and openness. It means inclusiveness and a sense of belonging to all.”
Mungunda also announced that all Namibian individual and corporate applicants have been allocated all the shares they have applied for, whereas Namibian institutions have been allocated 41.58% of the shares they have applied for and non- Namibian institutions were allocated 20% of the shares they applied for.
“We have a responsibility, as the current leadership and workforce of the bank to build on what was given to us by the previous generation, improve on it and leave it in a better and improved state. This is a responsibility we are acutely aware of, and remind ourselves every day, Mungunda implored.”
Standard Bank Namibia shares started trading at N$8.90 as soon as they debuted on the NSX on Friday morning.