By Etuka Sunday
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced an extension of the forbearance window for investors with multiple accounts and subscriptions to September 2018.
Acting Director-General SEC, Ms Mary Uduk stated this at the first 2018 post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) press briefing in Lagos.
The forbearance is to enable those who bought shares in multiple names consolidate such multiple shareholder’s identities with the registrars and Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) into one that bears their official names.
She noted that during the market boom, some investors bought shares with different names which they had forgotten hence could no longer access the benefits of such investments.
The Acting Director General therefore called on the affected investors to take advantage of the forbearance window to ratify their accounts.
Uduk also expressed commitment to ensure listing of multinationals adding that de-listing by quoted companies posed a threat to the growth of the capital market.
“Increase in de-listing by public companies pose a threat to the market in view of the fact that quite a number of them are highly capitalised,” she said.
The acting director-general said that the commission mandated the committee to come up with strategies aimed at tackling de-listing and boosting listing of more multinationals.
She said that some highly capitalised companies had delisted, thereby, affecting the growth of the market.
According to her, the committee will meet with stakeholders and find out why they are delisting as well as discuss with eligible ones why they are not listed.
Uduk said that some companies had complained of tax issues, and gave the assurance that the commission would engage the government to address the issue.
She said that the committee would come up with recommendations.
“If they are regulatory issues – more rule amendment – we are open to it, but our rules must be in line with international best practices,” Uduk said.
She gave the assurance that the apex capital market regulator would work in line with the committee’s recommendations.
The Acting DG also said that the commission was collaborating with the Corporate Affairs Commission to obtain the list of companies not quoted on any of the exchanges in the country.
On issuance of electronic annual accounts, she said that the pilot scheme had begun adding that the commission had received feedbacks of concerns from various shareholder associations on the electronic annual reports.
She said “shareholders expressed concerns of poor electricity supply and internet services in the rural areas.
“the market would deliberate further on the issue, while the pilot scheme of one year would go on. We are still looking at it but the pilot scheme will go on,” she said.
On e-dividend, she said that the technical committee on e-dividend reported that the total and approved mandate currently stood at 2.5 million, translating into 466,000 unit investors.
Also, Uduk disclosed that retail players in the domestic capital market invested N5bn in the Sukuk (ethical) bond issued by the Federal Government last year.
The amount represents 5% of the N100bn bond with a seven-year tenor, for fixing 25 key economic road projects across the six geo-political zones, with N16.67bn earmarked for road projects in each geo-political zone.
She noted that the Technical Committee on Non-Interest capital market as reporting the sovereign sukuk issued in 2017 attracted about 1,600 retail investors.
Following from that success, she assured that “the next level of engagements is to work with supra-national entities (such as IFC, AfDB), state governments, institutions (such as Federal Mortgage Bank, NMRC) to include sukuk options in their capital investment plans.”