Nigerian Stock Exchange in tie-up talks with London

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has discussed a possible tie-up with London, according to the head of the country's capital markets regulator.

The NSE is looking to demutualise and would consider selling a stake to a foreign partner. It has already struck a deal with New York's Nasdaq, which is upgrading NSE's trading platform.

Arunma Oteh, the director general of Nigeria's Securities & Exchange Commission, said: "One of the considerations in selecting Nasdaq was that it could be a strategic partner. The NSE is exploring what potential partners could offer. It has spoken to the London Stock Exchange and Johannesburg is interested."

Ms Oteh is tasked with cleaning up Nigeria's capital markets and took over the exchange last year. Since the nadir of February 2009, when corporate corruption contributed to the country's crash, the value of companies on the exchange has increased from $32.5bn to more than $70bn.

Any tie-up with Nigeria would be another signal of the LSE's overseas growth plans. It is trying to merge with TMX, the parent of Canada's two biggest exchanges, but is facing a challenge from the Maple consortium – 13 Canadian banks and pension funds – that is presenting itself as protecting national interest.