Bangi Inc, a US-based company intends to list of the Nairobi Stock Exchange. The company believes that listing on the NSE will increase its exposure to Africa’s investment community. At the same time, an NSE listing will allow investors to purchase Bangi’s stocks through mobile platforms like M-Pesa and Airtel money.
The company’s board approved an initiative to cross-list its common stock as depositary receipts on the NSE. The cross-listing takes advantage of the Swahili translation of the company’s name “Bangi” which means “marijuana” in Swahili. If granted permission to list on the NSE, the company will access the East African Community’s vast population through the Capital Market Authority (CMA). The CMA allows citizens of the EAC to invest in companies listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. Therefore entry into the NSE will allow Bangi, Inc to reach investors the region’s six countries.
The cross-listing also targets new investors who are seeking to diversify their investments. Reforms in the region such as one that allows pension schemes and institutional funds to invest part of their funds in real estate might augur well for the company.
According to Dr. Neil Parsan, the company’s CEO, listing in Kenya’s capital market will allow Bangi to access an untapped market valued in hundreds of billions of dollars. Cross-listing will expand the company’s shareholder base, increase its liquidity and provide a platform for Africa’s retail and institutional investors to invest the company’s growth. Will a Marijuana Real Estate company succeed in listing Kenya’s exchange market, especially when Marijuana is illegal in Kenya? NSE is yet to respond.