BML supports first private firm to go public

BML signed an agreement with Centurion PLC, a leading shipping and logistics service provider Thursday to act as its collecting banker during the IPO. PHOTO/BML

BML signed an agreement with Centurion PLC, a leading shipping and logistics service provider Thursday to act as its collecting banker during the IPO. PHOTO/BML

Maldives’ main bank, Bank of Maldives has extended its support to the first Initial Public Offering (IPO) of a privately owned company in Maldives.

The Bank signed an agreement with Centurion PLC, a leading shipping and logistics service provider Thursday to act as its collecting banker during the IPO.

Subscriptions for Centurion PLC shares opened Thursday morning, and according to BML the public will be able to purchase them through an online portal hosted by the Bank.

“We are pleased to support Centurion PLC as they embark on this important new phase. Their listing on the Maldives Stock Exchange will benefit the company by allowing it to raise capital for its expansion. The Stock Exchange plays a vital role in the growth of the economy, and is a good source of funding for companies,” BML Director of Corporate Banking Kuldip Paliwal said after signing the agreement.

Centurion had earlier announced that 49 percent of company shares (6,757,800) will be sold at a rate of MVR 25 to individual citizens, companies and associations.

Founded in 2010, Centurion is a firm that provides importation and storage of cargo, and shipping them across the Maldives. Moreover, it also serves as an agent to major international shipping lines, and delivers food that spoils quickly and other goods in specially designed vessels to resort islands.

Centurion had said the decision to sell company shares was taken to procure the necessary facilities to further develop its shipping and logistics sector. The company aims to earn MVR 168,945,000 via selling shares with which they plan to acquire a number of marine vessels including 10 cargo ships, a tug and barges. Centurion is also looking to develop a warehouse.

Centurion’s policy of selling shares is to split 50 percent of its net profit with its shareholders. The company also aspires to maintain the same rate of selling shares for five years.

Centurion is the seventh company to be listed on the Maldives Stock Exchange, which features state-run companies and firms with international shareholders, including Bank of Maldives Ltd (BML), Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), State Trading Organisation (STO), Maldives Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and local telecom company Dhiraagu.

Prior to Centurion, private firm Spectra Public Ltd, of which Centurion’s chairman Ahmed Maumoon is a shareholder, became the first Maldivian private firm to be listed on the Maldives Stock Exchange last June. However, as Spectra is yet to sell shares, Centurion has officially become the first Maldivian private company to sell shares to the public.

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