By Staff Reporter WINDHOEK The Nedbank Group recently launched a secondary listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX), saying this further showed its commitment to the development of the country and providing Namibian investors access to the shares of the Nedbank Group. Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila marked the Nedbank listing by ringing the Stock Exchange bell in the traditional manner. Addressing business leaders attending the listing ceremony, she commended Nedbank for taking the decision to list on the NSX. “At the current stage of financial market development in Namibia, I cannot stress enough how important these secondary listings are for the functioning of our undersized market. “The NSX still leads a marginal existence in the Namibian economy, noted by a share turnover of a mere 16 percent of GDP. To boost its clout, both secondary listings and local participation need to be encouraged,” she urged. The minister added that the Nedbank listing would contribute to meaningful Black Economic Empowerment, which could help transform Namibia into a more equitable society. The Nedbank Group, with a market capitalization of more than R60 billion, is South Africa’s fourth largest banking group with the company listing on the JSE in 1969. A statement from the company said that all three companies in the Old Mutual Group, namely Old Mutual plc, Nedbank Group and Mutual & Federal, are now dual-listed in Namibia. Denys Denya, managing director of Nedbank Africa, said the listing signals Nedbank’s commitment to the growth and prosperity of Namibia. “The listing builds on other important Nedbank milestones. The Nedbank Group, together with Old Mutual and Mutual & Federal, last year concluded the largest and most broadly-based BEE transaction in Namibia, which included the introduction of black equity ownership to the value of 11,13% of Nedbank’s Namibian business.” “The transaction is expected to benefit over 250ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000 black Namibians directly and indirectly, including employees, strategic business partners, distributors, trade union members and their families, women’s’ organizations and church groups,” he said. Denya added that over the past two years Nedbank Namibia has increased its branch network by more than 50% to bring banking services closer to the people of Namibia, with further expansion planned in the next few years. Chairperson of the NSX, Peter Koep, noted that Nedbank is the third of four southern African banks with a direct interest in Namibia to list on the NSX. He said that, based on research, banks have significantly outperformed the index for the last 45 months, already reflected positively in the 2007 turnover. The diversification of risk at a global level was vital to growing the Namibian economy at a faster pace. He challenged Nedbank Namibia to list bonds on the NSX in the near future, as government corporate bonds had had a good run. NSX statistics showed that the sovereign rating was beginning to show positive results. According to the company, Nedbank has operated in Namibia since 1973 and has over 3ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000 corporate clients, and more than 50ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000 retail customers.