Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has sanctioned Standard Alliance Insurance Plc, Prestige Assurance Plc, Goldlink Insurance Plc, African Alliance Insurance Plc and International Energy Insurance Plc (IEI) for various contraventions.
Data obtained from the X-Compliance Report published on the NSE website, stated that the firms were sanctioned for contraventions ranging from default in filing 2018 audited financial reports; failure to file first quarter 2019 reports and unauthorised publication of annual general meeting notice.
The exchange stated that Standard Alliance, Goldlink and International Energy Insurance Plc were found to have breached the rules over non-rendition of 2018 and 2019 financial statements, as well as non-rendition of quarterly financial statements.
Prestige Insurance breached the rule in unauthorised publications, non-disclosure of material information, among others.
African Alliance Insurance Plc breached the rules for non-rendition of its 2019 audited financial statements and non-rendition of quarterly financial statements.
The NSE said the X-Compliance Report is a transparency initiative which designed to maintain market integrity and protect investors by providing compliance related information on all listed companies.
It maintained that companies that are listed on the exchange are required to adhere to high disclosure standards which are prescribed in the Rulebook of the exchange, 2015 (Issuers’ Rules), and other Rules of the exchange, from time to time, stressing that financial information, which is periodic disclosure, as well as on-going material information disclosure should be released to the exchange in a timely manner to enable it efficiently perform its function of maintaining an orderly market. The X-Compliance Report is updated every Friday at the close of market, it said.
The exchange identified Goldlink, Standard Alliance, IEI, and African Alliance as companies that fell short of the minimum listing standards in terms of timely disclosure of their audited annual financial statements and have Missed Regulatory Fillings (MRF) or are Awaiting Regulatory Approval (AWR) from their primary regulators.
It said the sanctions for non-compliance with periodic financial disclosure obligations are clearly spelt out in its Rules for Filing of Accounts and Treatment of Default Filing, Rulebook of The Exchange (Issuers’ Rules).
On the non-rendition of quarterly financial statements for Q1 2020, it said companies listed on the exchange are required to file their quarterly accounts within 30 days after the end of the quarter in accordance with the Rules for Filing of Accounts and Treatment of Default Filing, Rulebook of The Exchange (Issuers’ Rules).
The exchange said: “Under Schedule 3: Delinquent filers of audited financial statements, the Exchange has identified the companies listed on Schedule 3 as companies that fell short of the minimum listing standards in terms of timely disclosure of their audited annual financial statements and have Missed Regulatory Fillings (MRF) or are Awaiting Regulatory Approval (AWR) from their primary regulators.”
“Every listed company is required to provide the exchange with timely information to enable it efficiently perform its function of maintaining an orderly market. In accordance with the provisions of Appendix III: General Undertaking (Equities), Rulebook of The Exchange, 2015 (Issuers’ Rules) and The Exchange’s Circular No. NSE/LARD/LRD/CIR3/17/05/12 on publication of announcements or press releases via the issuers’ portal, listed companies are required to obtain prior written approval from The exchange before publications that affect shareholders’ interest are made in the media or via the issuers’ portal.
“In addition, companies are also required to disclose material information to The Exchange and publish the information in their annual reports. The companies listed under Schedule 5 breached certain provisions of the listings rules and were sanctioned accordingly.
“Under Schedule 9, regulatory suspensions are suspended pursuant to the provisions of Rule 3.1, Rules for Filing of Accounts and Treatment of Default Filing, Rulebook of The Exchange (Issuers’ Rules), which provides: “If an Issuer fails to file the relevant accounts by the expiration of the Cure Period, The Exchange will send to the Issuer a “Second Filing Deficiency Notification” within two (2) business days after the end of the Cure Period; suspend trading in the Issuer’s securities; and notify the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Market 24 hours of the suspension.”
Firstbank Hosts Summit to Promote Tech
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced that the 2020 edition of its annual FinTech Summit will hold next Thursday virtually through Zoom meetings.
The 2020 edition of the summit, which is the fourth in its series is themed; “How Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence will Disrupt FinTech in Nigeria” and will be discussed by experts, key and leading players, policy influencers and regulatory officials in the Nigerian financial, banking and technological climate.
Chinedu Echeruo, founder of HopStop which was sold to Apple for $1bn will be leading the discussion as the Keynote speaker alongside other panelists; Musa Itopa Jimoh, director, Payments System Management Department and Aminu Maida, executive director, Technology & Operations, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS).
Representing FirstBank in the panel of discussants are Callistus Obetta, group executive, Technology & Services and Chuma Ezirim, group executive, e-Business & Retail Products.
Mr. Gbenga Shobo, deputy managing director, said, “The 2020 edition of our FINTECH summit will build on the successes achieved in the last three editions.”
BoI Increases Support to N53Bn
BoI Increases Support for MSMEs to N53Bnthe Bank of Industry (BoI) has disclosed that it made a total disbursement of N53 billion to micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in 2019, in demonstration of its commitment to the development the segment in the country.
This was a 56.3 per cent year-on-year increase from the N33.9 billion disbursed in 2018.
This was announced at the Bank’s 60th Annual General Meeting held virtually in line with COVID-19 protocols of the federal government.
During the year under review, the BoI stated that it disbursed a total of N234 billion to a total 10,145 enterprises, thereby facilitating the creation of an estimated one million direct and indirect jobs.
Presenting the Group’s financial scorecard for the year 2019, Mr. Aliyu Abdulrahman Dikko, chairman, Board of Directors, stated “I am also pleased to report that the group’s balance sheet remains strong while our business operations are in line with both regulatory requirements and global best practices.”
According to him, the Group grew its total equity by 13.5 per cent to N293.09 billion for the year ended 2019, over 2018 position of N258.24 billion.
However, he noted, the group’s total asset dropped slightly by 2.7 per cent to N1.04 trillion.
The Group also recorded profit before tax increase by 7.3 per cent to N39.34 billion year-on-year, over the N36.66 billion recorded in 2018.
On loans and advances, the Chairman said that despite a slow start in the first quarter of the year due to the build-up to the 2019 general elections, the Group recorded a growth of 16.7 per cent, from N634.11 billion in 2018 to N740.03 billion in 2019.
Interest income and interest expense increased by 20 per cent and 54 per cent on a year-on-year basis respectively, due to increase in loan book as well as the impact of borrowings.
He said, “in the course of the year, we made significant progress towards improving the size of our loanable funds, leveraging our strategic partnerships in the international market and the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Bank was able to raise €1 billion (One Billion Euro) through syndication by international banks for onlending to SMES to create jobs.”
Mr. Kayode Pitan, managing director of BoI, described the year under review, which marked the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s oldest Development Financial Institution, as a significant year for the Bank.
“As a Bank, we have survived 60 years and by God’s Grace, the Bank has done very well,” he said. “The balance sheet of the Bank, after 60 years, is now slightly over one trillion Naira; and the profit for last year was also very good.”
Beyond the profit, he said, the Bank made strong impact on the economy by disbursing over N200 billion in 2019 to over 10, 000 different institutions and organizations, including the about 60 per cent increase in disbursement to the SME segment.
“So for us, it was a good year,” he stressed.
Fraud: Access Bank Urges Customers to be Vigilant
Access Bank has urged its customers to remain vigilant and beware of the common tricks used by fraudsters to rob them of their monies.
Victor Etuokwu, executive director of Retail Banking, Access Bank Plc, expressed concern about the growing number of fraud cases being reported.
He implored customers to take more responsibility in safeguarding their funds and offered reassurance of the bank’s commitment to providing information relevant to identifying and fending off fraudsters.
He said: “Over the last few months, the number of reported fraud cases has spiked considerably.
This is not unexpected as the current economic hardships experienced due to COVID-19 have caused many to be vulnerable.
However, this trend has become very disturbing, while we urge customers to become more aware of the tactics employed by fraudsters. Access Bank will continue to educate customers on how to avoid falling victims as well as deploy resources to ensure the security of customers’ funds.
“The bank has identified smishing, phishing, social engineering, and identity theft as the most common methods used by fraudsters.
To aid the fight against this common enemy, we have put more power in the hands of our customers, through the 901911# USSD code. We have provided a platform through which customers can immediately deactivate their USSD profile by dialling 901911# from any phone in the event their mobile devices get lost or stolen.”
Responding to queries made by customers about the fraudsters approaching them, while disguising as the bank’s staff, Etuokwu added that “customers should be on alert as the bank will never ask for personal information such PIN, BVN, 16-digit card number, CVV, Password, OTP or Authentication Code for the mobile banking app. We urge our customers to ignore such calls, text messages or emails”.
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