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SEC issues December deadline for registration of unlisted securities to boost NASD

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday issued Dec. 31 deadline to public companies to register all their securities with the commission to boost the NASD Over-The-Counter (OTC) market.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NASD PLC is the promoter of the OTC trading platform that eases secondary market trading of all unlisted securities in the country.

Ms Mary Uduk, SEC Acting Director-General, disclosed this at the second post Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting in Lagos.

Uduk said all public companies in Nigeria had till the end of this year to ensure that trading in their securities was done through SEC approved platform.

“Already, the commission has distributed letters to all registrars to fast track compliance with the rule and ensure that public companies abide by the stipulated deadline,” she said.

According to her, to accelerate compliance, the commission will ensure that companies filing their returns must provide evidence in form of letters to show due registration with the regulatory authority.

Uduk said the commission had identified companies with shares trading actively on the OTC platform without registering their securities with the apex regulator.

“If companies are bringing returns to us, we will check if the company has registered the securities with SEC, if yes, then the company must provide evidence of SEC registration letter,” she said.

Uduk said the commission might decide to adopt other means to ensure compliance after the Dec. 31 deadline.

Speaking on measures to make the primary market more active, she said the commission would streamline the entire issuing process, in addition to the issuing cost reduction achieved in 2017.

The measure, according to Uduk is to fast-track the entire process of raising bonds and equities in the capital market and make the issuing process more attractive to investors.

“We are almost through with the report.

“We are working with the Nigerian Stock Exchange to ensure that any document filed with the exchange are not requested for a second filing at the SEC to fast tract the system,” she said.

Uduk noted 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 issuers to the market.

“After one year we did an impact assessment to see how the cost reduction impacted to market.

NAN reports that in March, 2017, the commission released a draft rule seeking reduction in cost of primary equity and fixed income issues by various trade groups in the capital market.

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