Dangote delays London listing, shores up forex earnings

    Johnson Okafor with agency report

    Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, has again delayed plans to list shares in his cement company on the London Stock Exchange.

    According to Bloomberg News, he has opted instead to focus on increasing exports and boosting the Nigerian company’s foreign-exchange reserves.

    Dangote Cement Plc, the continent’s biggest producer of the building material, isn’t expected to attempt a United Kingdom initial public offering until at least 2023, the Head of Investor Relations at the Lagos-based company, Temilade Aduroja, said by email.

    “The London listing is not something which will happen in the short to medium term,” she said, adding, “We are focused on our export strategy and increasing our foreign-currency revenue.”

    Aliko Dangote, 63, who has a net worth of more than $14bn, has long expressed his ambition for Dangote Cement to have a secondary London listing to diversify its ownership and gain access to cheaper funds in international markets.

    Yet for one reason or another, he has never managed to pull the trigger.

    The controlling shareholder said in 2018 that the listing would happen the following year, only for a former Chief Financial Officer, Brian Egan, to state that 2020 was more likely.

    Nigeria’s biggest listed company by market value, Dangote Cement, took advantage of a drop in yields in the domestic debt markets to raise N100bn ($259m) through commercial papers in May and April, the largest offering of its kind at the time.

    The group said in July it was looking to export clinker to 15 countries in Central and West Africa in a bid to boost revenue and resolve a scarcity of foreign exchange scarcity in Nigeria.

    The company is expected to see volume expansion in the third quarter following the easing of restrictions across the continent, ‘which bodes well for margins as higher realised prices are expected in Nigeria and the Pan-African region’, senior industry analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, Sonia Baldeira, said in a note earlier this month.

    Dangote Cement grew the wealth of its shareholders, paying over N1tn as dividends in the past seven years.

    According to the cement company’s Group Chief Financial Officer, Mr Guillaume Moyen, the Africa’s largest cement manufacturer is focused on growing the Nigerian economy.

    A breakdown of the seven-year dividend history gleaned from the company’s financial statements indicated that N51.1bn was paid in 2013, N119.3bn in 2014, N102.2bn in 2015, N136.3bn in 2016, N144.8bn in 2017, N178.9bn in 2018 and N272.6bn in 2019.

    Moyen, who disclosed this during the virtual Facts Behind the figures and Facts Behind Sustainability Report by the company to capital market stakeholders at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, said Dangote Cement has a sustained focus on helping the Nigerian economy and doing what it could to benefit the economy.

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