Africa
Building a prosperous future for the continent

Africa at a glance

1938
African Explosives & Industries became the first African firm to list on London Stock Exchange
123
African firms with over £139bn aggregate market cap are currently listed or trading in London
£17.2bn
total equity capital raised by African corporates on London Stock Exchange since 2008
£55.5bn
total debt capital raised by African corporates and sovereigns on London Stock Exchange since 2008

A relationship dating back nine decades

The strong relationship between London Stock Exchange Group and Africa dates back over several decades. The first African company that listed its shares in London in the 1930s was African Explosives & Industries, which made blasting explosives and detonators for the gold and diamond mining industries in South Africa. Headquartered in South Africa and now known as AECI, it is still listed in London today and worth over £485m.

Many more African companies have made the same journey to London since then. In total, there are 123 African or Africa-focussed corporates currently listed or trading in London, more than on any other international exchange.  These companies span a wide range of sectors and sizes and have chosen to list shares or depositary receipts.  At over £139bn, the collective worth of African companies on the London market is second only to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

London Stock Exchange is also the home for African debt listings, with over 70 active bonds from 20 Issuers, in a wide variety of products. 83% of these bonds are issued by sovereigns, 10% by financial industry, and the remaining 7% by industrial and energy companies. Some of the standout recent issuances in 2020 include: 

  • In October 2020, the Arab Republic of Egypt debuted its $750m (£579m) green bond on LSE's Main Market, the first sovereign green bond issuance from the Middle East and North Africa.
  • In December 2020, the Kingdom of Morocco issued a $3bn (£2.19bn) bond, in three tranches, on London's Main Market. This was the first USD-denominated bond issued by Kingdom of Morocco in seven years and was well received with demand exceeding $14bn.

Close collaboration

LSEG works closely with the major African exchanges, providing trading, surveillance and depository software. LSEG Technology’s capital markets solutions, which underpin London Stock Exchange’s own trading and surveillance platforms, are used by 9 African exchanges including Africa’s largest, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, as well as Botswana Stock Exchange and Casablanca Stock Exchange, to name a few.

London Stock Exchange has partnered with a number of these exchanges to enable dual-listings for companies looking to simultaneously list shares in both Africa and London. Utilising a unique cross-border settlement system, Nigerian oil and gas exploration firm Seplat is one such business. Seplat was admitted to London Stock Exchange and The Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2014, raising £323m at IPO to further fund the company’s expansion.

In June 2019, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in 14 African countries, Airtel Africa Plc, also realised a simultaneous dual listing between London and Nigeria. The IPO raised £541m with 100% of proceeds attributed to the company. 

A similar relationship exists with Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). In May 2018, Vivo Energy joined London Stock Exchange and realised an inward listing on JSE. A list of LSE-JSE dual-listed companies also includes global titans such as BHP Group, British American Tobacco, Glencore and Anglo American. 

Index inclusion

LSEG’s FTSE Russell benchmarking business has long-standing relationships in Africa, having worked with Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) to calculate the widely used domestic FTSE JSE Index Series since 2002. More recently, FTSE Russell collaborated with the Casablanca Stock Exchange, Nairobi Securities Exchange and Namibian Stock Exchange to launch tradable domestic indexes. Launching these index series were significant achievements for these countries, enabling greater transparency and investor participation in these markets.

Working with ASEA (African Securities Exchanges Association), FTSE Russell has also created the FTSE ASEA Pan Africa Index Series, representing performance of eligible securities listed on member exchanges and suitable for benchmarking purposes.

The FTSE Russell Country Classification committee continues to engage with many African countries around their inclusion within FTSE Russell’s Global Equity Index Series. Currently eleven African countries are classified as either Emerging or Frontier markets as of September 2020.

In February 2020, FTSE Russell launched the FTSE UK Listed Africa Index, featuring 65 London-listed companies with a combined market cap of £105bn as the first constituents of this pioneering index. The index is intended to facilitate greater international investment into African companies and has been designed to provide a foundation for index tracking funds and derivatives. As of August 2020, the index had increased in size and now features 70 London-listed companies.

Strong support for African economies

To support this evolution, in March 2016, LSEG brought together a dozen highly regarded business leaders, policymakers and investors from across the African continent to form an Africa Advisory Group. This group acts as a forum to discuss the development of Africa’s capital markets and how best to address the challenges and opportunities which this presents. In November 2018, the Group launched a series of reports which put forward recommendations on how African capital markets could be further developed to increase global investment flows into Africa, covering offshore local currency bond markets, corporate information dissemination, SME financing, attracting passive investment flows, and the green bond market.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of African economies. They play an essential role in developing skills, jobs, wealth and ultimately driving economic growth. Developing an effective financial markets infrastructure to boost the economy is the best way to achieve this growth potential and LSEG is firmly committed to working towards this goal.
With this in mind, in January 2019, LSEG launched the second edition of Companies to Inspire Africa – a report that aims to bring much needed visibility to private high-growth companies across the continent. The report showcases the vast investment opportunities and strongest microeconomic stories to an international audience. The 2019 report highlights 360 companies from 32 different countries across Africa from a range of sectors, from renewables to technology and telecoms. We have already seen companies featured in the Companies to Inspire Africa reports realise significant progress and we have tracked these achievements in our One Year On report, highlighting milestones such as IPOs and bond issuances to finance growth, as well as cross-border expansion, both within the African continent and globally. The 2019 One Year On report featured 85 companies, with highlights including 28 companies raising a combined £1.1bn in additional financing in 2019, such as Helios Towers’ successful IPO on LSE and Acorn’s green Kenyan shilling bond listed on both Nairobi Securities Exchange and LSE.

Find out about companies we have welcomed to our markets

96.08
London Stock Exchange welcomes Ecobank Nigeria celebrating its bond issuance

Ecobank Nigeria has today opened the market at London Stock Exchange via a virtual ceremony to mark the listing of its five-year fixed rate senior unsecured US$300 million bond.

Ecobank Nigeria, a subsidiary of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, the parent company of the  Ecobank Group, provides the full suite of banking products, services and solutions through multiple channels

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131.665
London Stock Exchange welcomes Grit Real Estate Income Group to the Premium Segment of the Main Market

London Stock Exchange welcomes Grit Real Estate Income Group to the Premium Segment of the Main Market today. This follows a rigorous step-up process by the Company that further strengthens Grit’s position to deliver increased value and sustainable growth and enhances the company’s profile with a broader base of potential investors.

Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited is a leading p

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London Stock Exchange Group Welcomes Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, celebrating partnership with LSEG

London, United Kingdom, 22 January 2020 – Don Robert, Chairman of London Stock Exchange Group welcomed the president of the African Development Bank to open markets for trading at London Stock Exchange on Wednesday 22 January.

The reception in London followed the African Development Bank’s Africa Investment Forum, the Bank’s innovative market-place for accelerating investment into the

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Meet the team

Tom Attenborough

Head of International Business Development, Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange, plc

                                                                    

Gokul Mani

Head of Middle East, Africa, India, Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange plc

                                                           

Opedimeji Sule

Africa Business Development Manager, Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange plc

                                  

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