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SEC inaugurates committee to interface with multinationals for new listings

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Securities and Exchange Commission

•Strategises to forestall firms’ delisting from stock market
Efforts by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to attract more companies to list on the nation’s capital market has taken a new dimension, as the commission, at the weekend, disclosed that it has set up a committee that would interface with the multinationals and highly capitalised firms and woo them to list on the stock market.

In addition, the committee is expected to find out why companies are delisting from the market and come up with recommendations on how to forestall future occurrence.

Listing refers to company’s shares being on the list (or board) of stock that are officially traded on a stock exchange. Delisting is the removal of a listed security from a stock exchange.

The new Acting Director General of SEC, Mrs Mary Uduk, while addressing Journalists during the post Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting, held in Lagos at the weekend, explained that the terms of reference for the committee on listing is to meet with multinationals with highly capitalised firms’ and carry out advocate strategy to get them listed in the market.

“Again the committee will find out what is the reason they are not listing and in so doing, advice government on how to meet some of their aspirations because some of them task about tax issues and so many others so it is really to carry out advocacy on getting them to list.

“Additional, we find out that a lot of companies are delisting, we also ask them to find out the reason, whether it is due to regulatory reasons or they are having issues with compliance with our own regulation.

“So we have given them this additional mandate so that they can come up with recommendations. If it will warrant amending our rules, we would do that in line with global best practice or call a upon government agencies where necessary.”

Furthermore, Uduk disclosed that the commission is working towards adopting Electronic IPOs (e-IPO) in line with global standard.

The electronic ipo will help in terms of distribution of investment opportunities, enhance better participation from the retail end of the market, reduce the cost of issuances and make the market more competitive.

According to her, the commission has set up a committee from the various market groups to harmonise and submit the reports from other market stakeholders who are already working on the e-ipo initiative.

“Giving the kind of applications and companies we are expecting to come to the market, how large they are, we have thought that we would be able to accomplish that before some of the companies come to the market.

“Aside the committee that we have set up, there are a number of market operators who have approached the commission to host an e ipo platform. They want to register with the commission to post such platform.

“The committees are not going to start from the scratch, because already, a number of stakeholders are already working on the e ipo. It is just to collate the report of the various committees, harmonise and submit it to SEC, then we look at our existing rules, and see if we need to amend any of our rules not.”

On how to restore investors confidence in the market, Uduk explained that the commission would continue to implement all the initiatives stipulated on the capital market master plan.

“We will continue to do all the things that we were doing before to instill confidence in the market. We would continue with the capital market master plan and ensure that we do everything that is stipulated in the plan.”

The Executive Commissioner, Operations, Isiaku Bala Tilde added that the commission would not adopt new initiatives outside the 10-year capital market master plan as regards instilling investors’ confidence.

“We have a working document, which is the capital market master plan, and we will continue to implement it. We are not really coming up with any thing new because we are part of the technical committee that worked on the capital market master plan so what we are here to do is to ensure that we implement all the recommendations on that master plan,” he added.


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