The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has removed the regularisation deadline earlier set for shareholders that opened accounts for the purchase of shares with different names to regularise them.
The removal of the deadline, which was confirmed in a statement by the commission issued on Sunday, was part of the outcome of the third Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting that was concluded at the weekend in Lagos.
The statement quoted the Acting Director General of SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, as saying that the measure will enable other shareholders that are having challenges with their details to come up and regularize their holdings.
Uduk said that the commission had discovered that some shareholders were avoiding it due to the fear of prosecution.
She expatiated: “The Multiple Subscription Committee presented the status of its ongoing engagement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Committee of Heads of Banking Operation to display multiple accounts regularization banners in the banking halls all over the country. The Committee also reported that CMOs have commenced the filing of report on regularized accounts with the Commission, on a quarterly basis. Given the relevance of this exercise and the need to create more awareness, the Committee requested for an extension of the deadline of multiple accounts regularization”.
“We are keeping it open for now with no deadline. We are also encouraging investors to take advantage of this to regularise their accounts and claim their dividends”, Uduk added.
The industry regulator listed other resolutions that were taken at the meeting as including, order directing registrars to discontinue the practice of requesting for confirmation of bank signature during the E-DMMS process; that CMOs are to display awareness campaign banners of e-DMMS at their offices and venue of Annual General Meetings (AGM); as well as that capital market operators should also work with the Commission to share awareness information on their social media platforms.
Uduk dislcosed further that the commission also reviewed the request from the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) for extension of time for compliance on the transfer of complete investor data among operators such as brokers, registrars and CSCS, adding that upon completion of the consideration of the request, the position of the commission will be communicated to the relevant parties.
On efforts being made by the capital market regulatory institution to deepen liquidity in the nation’s bourse, the SEC boss said that the commission was already discussing with the managements of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on securities lending.
Specifically, the investment expert said that the commission was engaging PENCOM on modalities that would permit Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to participate in securities lending, which is the act of loaning a stock, derivative or other security to an investor or firm and requires the borrower to put up collateral, whether cash, security or a letter of credit.
She said:“We have been engaging not only PENCOM but all local institutional investors that have substantial holding of equities and the essence of having this securities lending is to actually deepen our market.
“All of us are contributing to our own pension accounts and these PFAs are buying equities.“What they do is to buy and hold, they don’t sell and they hold it, so the essence of securities lending is now to give room for them to make money and so that the money will now add up to their own contribution fund.
“We have a framework which has been approved and we are encouraging the market to go into self lending by meeting these institutional investors.
“Pension is the highest institutional investor in our market, they will now lend out these securities and when they lend out, it will be credited back to the pension fund account.“At the end of the contract, they will get their securities back.“Instead of holding the securities, they are making money out of it; that is the essence.
“So, we are engaging PENCOM to see it as an investment opportunity, and they have bought into the idea.“We are discussing to see how they can be able to come up with their guideline based on their provision of the Act to allow securitues lending to take place.
“In addition, we are engaging another institutional investor, AMCON.“It is a holistic approach to have a win win situation in our market,” Uduk said
On the e-Dividend Mandate Management System (e-DMMS) introduced to curb unclaimed dividends, Uduk said that a total of 2.82 million had enrolled into the platform at the end of third quarter 2019.
This is even as she confirmed that the commission had directed registrars to discontinue the practice of requesting for confirmation of bank signature during the E-DMMS process to tackle unclaimed dividends.