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It was all smiles yesterday for shareholders of newly-formed property development and management firm, Icon Properties plc (MSE:ICON), as they saw the share price increase from K8.75 to K12 per share on listing day on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE).


Market analysts have since described Icon Properties’ listing as a significant feat which will provide diversified products on MSE.


The listing, which broke MSE’s 10-year listing drought, followed a successful Initial Public Offer (IPO) of 1.68 billion shares that raised K14.7 billion from investors.

In an interview during the listing ceremony held at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre and witnessed by Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe, Icon Properties plc director Vizenge Kumwenda, who is also managing director of Nico Holdings plc,  said  the listing would bring a number of advantages to the company as well as Malawi’s capital market.


“We are glad to have reignited that market. As Icon, we are playing our part to broaden and deepen the capital market in Malawi and we believe we have played it well.


“We now look forward to doing even more in future as we continue to seek investment opportunities that will benefit the Nico Group, our stakeholders and Malawi at large,” he said. 


On his part, MSE chief executive officer John Kamanga said the listing gives the company  numerous advantages, among others, increased operational efficiencies, efficient process of capital raising and productive utilisation of savings.


“Icon Properties has made a right choice joining the family of companies that aim at being more open and transparent to their shareholders, the public, government and other stakeholders,” he said.


During the Icon Properties IPO, 1 036 applications were allotted shares. Out of these, 97 out of every 100 were Malawi-based and retail investors while the three percent comprised foreign-based and institutional investors.


Standard Bank of Malawi, lead advisers of the transaction, said the listing introduces a unique asset to MSE that will broaden the assets that investors can buy into. 


“On the first day of first trade the investors are already 30 percent making us proud to be the successful lead advisors for this transaction. And given the stable and positive macroeconomic environment, we urge corporate to look at MSE as the right avenue for investment,” said Standard Bank head of corporate and investment bank Frank Chantaya.


Commenting on the development, market and investment analyst Armstrong Kamphoni described the listing as a milestone.


He said: “Reading from the reaction of the market where the share price has risen by K3.25 from the initial offer of K8.75 to K12 on the first trade, the listing is definitely good for MSE. We urge other corporates to emulate the gesture by Icon which has raised about K14 billion, proving that the MSE is an ideal vehicle for rising capital.” 


Icon Properties has 35 properties valued at K50.04 billion with a total lettable area of 72 630 square metres.


Some of its properties are the Chichiri Shopping Centre in Blantyre, Lilongwe City Mall which houses Game Stores, and Kang’ombe House in Lilongwe.


The listing of Icon Properties puts the number of listed counters on the MSE at 14.


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