The Securities and Exchange Commission recently introduced a new rule which prohibits dealings in securities of unlisted public companies outside of an approved/registered exchange established for the purpose of facilitating over-the-counter trading of securities. The rule establishes a trusted platform through which investors can trade their securities and will in turn give the securities market greater depth.
The Securities Exchange Commission recently published the final Rules on Demutualisation of Securities in Nigeria. This is the latest sign that the demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), first proposed in 2001, is finally close to implementation. Following demutualisation, it is expected that the NSE will seek investment from within and outside Nigeria.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has provided guidance to listed companies on the timing and nature of certain announcements and has also clarified the rules prohibiting insider dealing. The guidance includes a definition of what the NSE considers to be 'price-sensitive information' and prescribes certain activities to prevent the abuse of insider information.
The new Pensions Reform Act 2014 recently came into effect. It has significantly relaxed the restriction on offshore investments by Nigerian pension fund administrators of pension fund assets. However, it also provides that, subject to foreign exchange rules, the National Pension Commission may recommend portfolio limits for the investment of pension fund assets outside Nigeria.
In December 2013 the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission increased the minimum capital requirements for capital market operators. This update details the old and new minimum capital requirements for the various categories of capital market operator.
As part of its financial inclusion agenda, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is promoting the development of Islamic finance products and has released rules on sukuk issuance in Nigeria, which apply to all sukuks offered by local and foreign entities within the SEC's regulatory ambit. Further, the Osun state government recently issued the first sukuk on the Nigerian capital market.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finally published the long-awaited Consolidated Rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The consolidated rules introduce some interesting changes, including an exception to the requirement for SEC approval for all acquisitions. In addition, the Nigerian Stock Exchange recently updated the Listing Rules.
The Alternative Securities Market is a specialised board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), which was established to encourage the listing of small and medium-sized companies with high growth potential. It is a part of the NSE's initiative to develop a platform from which emerging business in Nigeria can access the capital markets. The listing requirements are less stringent than those for the main board of the NSE.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange has implemented a market-making mechanism in a bid to help boost liquidity in the market and improve market quality. The new system will allow for short selling and securities lending and other mechanisms which help to promote liquidity. The market-making structure will be implemented over a six-month period.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria has entered into a bilateral agreement with the Securities and Exchange Board of India to foster regulatory cooperation, information exchange and capacity building. The commission was also recently admitted as a signatory to Appendix A of the International Organization of Securities Commissions' Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding.
In a bid to foster the growth of the Nigerian capital markets and reduce the cost of doing business, the Securities and Exchange Commission has recently embarked on a downwards review of its transaction charges.
The Ministry of Finance had recently announced an upwards review of the paid-up capital base of capital market operators, with effect from April 2007. This update reviews the new minimum paid-up capital requirements for the different types of operator.
Guaranty Trust Bank launched a public offering of N96 billion ($750 million) for local and foreign investors. The bank asked the investing public to buy into its global depositary receipts in dollars, with the possibility to convert them into shares. The offering is the first opportunity for Nigerians to invest in the securities of a Nigerian company listed and traded on the London Stock Exchange.
The Administrative Proceedings Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission recently issued its decision on a shares scam involving a number of companies and individuals. The commission imposed penalties on those involved. It also issued several consequential orders with which all operators in the market must comply in order to limit the possibility of a reoccurrence.
The Federal High Court has held that the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cannot compel legal practitioners to register with it before acting as advisers in capital market transactions. The judgment may affect other professional advisers, such as accountants and auditors, whom the SEC also requires to be registered before they can participate in capital market deals.