Shareholders laud SEC’s suspension of BGL AML, subsidiaries
Urge regulator to make findings public
CAPITAL market shareholders have lauded the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision to suspend BGL Asset Management Limited (AML) and its subsidiaries from capital market activities, saying the development is a indications that the new regime would operate with zero tolerance to market infractions.
SEC, at its meeting held on May 19, 2015 considered the report of a detailed investigation into the various complaints received from investors against subsidiaries of BGL Group and directed that the firm and its subsidiaries be suspended from all market activities.
The Shareholders, therefore, urged the apex regulator to make the outcome of the investigations and findings public so that it would act as a deterrent to others and help build a more robust market. Specifically, the National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, described the decision as a welcome development but however, urged SEC to disclose the details of the investigations in full. “SEC should not give room to speculation.
They should tell us the outcome of their investigation, otherwise there may be sympathy for Okumagba and BGL and this may not be good for the sector. We also want to know what will be the fate of investors of these companies because we believe that they should not be punished unduly”.
Corroborating his view, the President, Renaissance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Ambassador Timothy Olufemi explained that the development is a warning that there would be a zero tolerance to infractions going forward. “It is clear now that going forward, the market would be run fairly and equitably.
There would be no case of powerful person or untouchable again in this market if BGL can be touched. “SEC, in the last three years has been a regulator that can bark but not bite.
The new regime has started on a very good note. We are in support because the market is frajile and every body must be equitable to the laws of the capital market.” He said. The President of the Progressive shareholders Association of Nigeria, Boniface Okezie, said the decision will also help the nation’s capital market in its quest to build a more robust and strong market.
His words: “There is no investors that will not be happy at his decision.
To me, I don’t have any quarrel with the decision taken by SEC because it is the sector’s regulator and we cannot question its decision.
“If the suspension stays, that means people who do business with BGL have lost their investment. Nevertheless, it will be good news if SEC could trace all stolen money that led to the problem of BGL”.
The Director-General, the SEC Mounir Gwarzo , while fielding questions to Journalist during the last Capital Market Committee (CMC) first quarter meeting held in Lagos explained that the commission was investigating the operations of BGL Plc, a financial services company.
He said that the commission had set up an interim management team to investigate the company’s operations. “What we did for BGL was basically extending our investigation process. We undertook target inspection of BGL.
When we finished the investigation, we came up with our own report and we wrote them a letter and we said we want them to clarify.
“They responded by asking us for additional time to respond and we granted them that additional time and they responded.
We reviewed their response and we felt there is a need for us to go in and confirm or clarify certain things. That is the situation we are in now,” Gwarzo said.
He said that the findings of the interim management team would determine its next line of action.
“We set up an interim management team that has already moved in and is doing its job and I don’t want to preempt what they would come up with. But the moment they finish the report, SEC will look at it and take the next line of action,” Gwarzo said. .