The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has fined 20 quoted companies N67.600 million for failure to file their audited financial statements after the regulatory due date.
Checks by New Telegraph showed that some of the companies were sanctioned for their inability to meet the regulatory requirements ranging between full year ended December 31, 2017 and first quarter of 2018.
The companies include Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc, Academy Press Plc, International Breweries Plc, International Breweries Plc, Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc, Meyer Plc, Presco Plc and Sovereign Trust Assurance Plc, among others.
Further checks showed that Academy Press Plc got about N35 million of the fines, which represents 48.22 per cent of the total figure.
The financial results of Academy Press Plc have not been encouraging and anticipation that the subsequent results will be brighter enough to erase the negatives has remained a mirage as the company continues to sustain negative bottom-line.
The harsh operating environment had prevented Academy Press from getting out of the woods despite innovative and proactive responses to market dynamics and competitive pressures.
The Exchange in its X-Compliance report explained that initiative was designed to maintain market integrity and protect the investors by providing compliance-related information on all listed companies.
The study noted: “Companies that are listed on the Exchange are required to adhere to high disclosure standards, which are prescribed in Appendix 111 of the Listing Rules.
“Financial information, which is periodic disclosure and on-going material events disclosure, should be released to The Exchange in a timely manner to enable it efficiently perform its function of maintaining an orderly market.”
The NSE, in an effort to achieve a world class capital market, has reiterated its commitment to maintain zero tolerance posture on dealing member firms and quoted companies on violations of rules and regulations.
This on the back of the exchange’s determination to shift gears to drive innovations cantered on increasing global visibility for the Nigerian capital market in the current year.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said recently that the exchange will sustain a zero-tolerance stance on dealing member firms and listed companies’ violations to help boost the confidence in the market.
Also, Managing Director, Crane Securities, Mr. Mike Eze, said the action of the NSE will boost investors’ confidence in the market because it is sending a signal that the NSE’s management understands the need for investors to get companies’ financial reports as at when due.
Eze said sanctions of erring companies are ways, which the Exchange is using to tell the investing public that they really want to revive confidence in the market.
He added that investors need to take informed decisions before choosing, which stock to buy. And this could only be achieved if there is adherence of good corporate governance by the quoted companies.
A founding member of Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA) and one of the leading shareholders’ activists, Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, said penalising erring companies is a signal that it is no longer business as usual.
“The action is great and it shows that the NSE management is becoming alive to its responsibilities. Besides, it is a signal to the companies in particular and the capital market in general that it is no longer business as usual. We must always abide by the rules,” he said.
He noted that the sanction would make other companies sit up and post their results as at when due thereby providing investors, analyst and stockbrokers the platform to predict the real value of the companies.
Source: The New Telegraph