SEC Issues Deadline For Registration of Unlisted Securities ***Says No official application has been received from MTN

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

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

According to her the commission has distributed letters to all registrars to fast track compliance with the rule and ensures that public companies abide by the stipulated deadline.

She said 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 commission.

“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, adding that an impact assessment made on the cost reduction for primary equity and fixed income issues last year has attracted more issuers to the market.

On the MTN Group   filing of Initial Public Offering (IPO) whichhas been in the public domain for some time Uduk said that it had not received any official application from MTN despite media hype on the offer.

“Let MTN file first and the day they tell you they have filed watch us and count.

“Not what you see on the pages of newspapers. Let MTN file their application today and then watch us.

“If you like come and stay in the commission to monitor. I will make an exception. I will open the commission to the press.

“Let them just file, please tell them to file and leave the heat at the side of the commission because as we speak and as far as we know, MTN is still a private company until they convert to a public company and then file application with us,’’ Uduk said.

Uduk said that the commission was ready for MTN’s application and would ensure speedy process once the application was filed.