Securities and Exchange Commission to streamline issuing process
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has unveiled plans to streamline the entire issuing process, as a measure to incentivise issuers to raise more funds from the nation’s capital market.
This is in addition to cost reduction strategy for primary equity and fixed income issues implemented by the commission last year.
The Acting Director-General of the SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, while addressing journalists at the commission’s second post-Capital Market Committee (CMC), in Lagos, said the measure is to fast-track the entire process of raising bonds and equities in the capital market and make issuing process more attractive to investors.
Uduk explained that after assessing the impact of the cost reduction implemented on primary issues, the commission deemed it necessary to streamline the entire issuing process in the market to woo more issuers to the market to raise funds.
“We are almost through with the report. We looked at the entire value chain and we are working with the NSE to ensure that documents filed with the exchange are not requested for a second filling at the SEC,” she said.
Uduk explained that an impact assessment made on the cost reduction for primary equity and fixed income issues last year, impacted on the market and attracted more issuer to the market.
“After one year, we did an impact assessment to see how the cost reduction impacted to market. It really impacted the market positively because issuers started to come in since November, when it was implemented.
“But it is not one issue that will translate into the needed improvements. It is a value chain. The issue that we spoke about streamlining effect has to do with the entire value chain and after implementation, at the end of one year, the commission will conduct another impact assessment to see the outcom.”
The SEC had in March 2017, released a draft rule seeking reduction in cost of primary equity and fixed income issuances by various trade groups in the capital market.
Also speaking at the meeting, Ag. Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, Securities and Exchange Commission, Henry Rowlands, said SEC has issued a directive that public companies trading their securities must be registered with the commission before the end of December 2018, to promote activities on the NASD OTC market.
Already, the commission has distributed letters to all registrars, to fast-track compliance to the rules and ensure that public companies abide by the deadline.
To accelerate compliance, he said the commission would ensure that companies filing their returns must provide evidence in form of letters to show due registration with the regulatory authority.
According to him, SEC has identifies companies that their shares are actively traded on the OTC platform without registering their securities with the apex regulator.
“Some trading was rolled under the table. Immediately we created those rules, we send letters to registrars to mandate them comply with the rules and we have also identifies some companies that their shares are actively traded that are not registered and we will write to company secretaries to draw their attention on the rule.
“If companies are bringing returns to us, we will check if the company is registered your securities with sec, if yes, then the company must provide evidence of sec registration letter. We have now issued a circular for a deadline of 31st December.
“After December, any Plc that failed to register their securities with sec, after December, the commission may decide to adopt other means to ensure that companies comply with the directive.”
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