Despite the claims by the
In an exclusive interview with THISDAY on assuming office as the Chief Executive Officer of the
He also announced his ambitious plan to take the Exchange's capitalisation to
To achieve his ambitions, he said: "I've started a new department called, Listing, Sales and Retention, and it is part of the business development division and their job is to maintain relationship with our existing companies at the board level, investor relations level, C of O level. They will also maintain relationship with professionals like bankers, accountants, and lawyers that advise these companies."
He added: "That's one piece of their job, the next piece is to go out and attract new companies and their performances is measured by certain things including that the quality of the companies they bring in, how many they bring in and whether we are retaining 100 per cent or not. There's now a group at the exchange that their job is to make sure that they get companies to list on the Exchange and ensure that we retain the ones we have at the moment."
Things have changed since then. Rather than retain existing companies as promised, Onyema has delisted over 60 companies in the last two years. Just last week, the NSE announced that it has decided to delist 21 companies for non-compliance with listing requirements. While 15 of the companies are being delisted for failure to file their quarterly and annual financial statements, five others are being delisted for failure to regularise their listing status after being given time to do so.
Those being delisted for failure to file their financial statements include: Investment and
On the other hand, the companies being delisted for failure to regularise their listing status are:
Minority shareholders' burden Recent data obtained by THISDAY revealed that between
A review of the list showed that out of the 63 companies, seven chose to delist voluntarily; 47 delisted due to regulatory instruction; while 9 of these companies delisted due to reforms/ expansion within the sectors they operated.
Most of the companies that delisted voluntarily from the bourse had sited harsh economic climate and parent company buy-out as reasons. Whichever way, analysts believe these companies at one time held annual general meetings, had public offerings where monies where and never put to use.
"Sponsors of these companies are walking the streets as free men; some have even come back with different companies to raise monies. For the NSE to now claim that they are trying to avoid been attached with the delisted companies inadequacies is fallacious," said a market watcher.
Notable names in this category are:
The following is a brief summary of the companies and the years/mood of their delisting from the Daily Official List of the Exchange:
Exit in a bull market
Also in 2008,
Also on the list of companies delisted from the Nigerian bourse are:
Also, in 2011,
NSE's impossible mission A review on the events above clearly shows that the NSE's aim to join an elite club of stock markets with a market capitalisation of
Twelve stock markets across the world now enjoy a trillion-dollar status, led by
Recent rebasing figures show that
Shareholders kick Reacting to the news some shareholders of the companies described the move as fraudulent and demanded better protection for ordinary investors in the country.
The shareholders, who lamented that investors, especially domestic retail investors, always suffered significant losses whenever companies were delisted, said there was the need for the Exchange to provide more information about how it arrived at its decision.
Leaders of shareholder groups in a chat with THISDAY questioned why the Exchange that was trying to attract listing would delist more than 20 companies at once and fail to engage investors about the plan.
Okezie argued that while the Exchange said it was protecting the shareholders, the move could be to the detriment of shareholders in the long run, especially if the companies were going concerns but were just having difficulties submitting their financials.
Okezie, who described the move as hostile said there were many questions left unanswered.
According to him, "The NSE needs to go all out to find out the exact state of the companies. To find out if they can overcome their problems in a short while rather than taking the hostile decision to delist them." Okezie also stated that the recent rally in the share price of JIB is worrisome and fraudulent.
"How can regulators allow the shares of a company that has not held annual general meeting, never paid dividend for many years, and never disclosed any positive information in recent times, to rise the way and manner JIB is rising? This is fraudulent and must be checked.
"But the stock was allowed to rise for 26 consecutive days to hit N9.09 per share, showing a jump of 552 per cent. However, profit-taking by some investors reduced the gain to 200 per cent last year," Okezie said.
On his part, the National Coordinator,
"You just see people delisting and we have trustees and others that insured these companies when they came to the market. The trustees are not saying anything to the shareholders, the intervention fund is not saying anything to the shareholders and we have not heard anything from the NSE about what the shareholders will lose."
NSE explains The NSE had in a notice of delisting posted on its website on Monday explained that it decided to delist the companies because of their failure to file quarterly and annual financial statements as required under the Listing Rules.
The NSE explained that its quotation committee met on
"This regulatory action is necessary in order to protect the investing public from trading in securities of entities with no current information regarding their financial status," it added.
Compliance reports published by the Exchange over time show that the affected companies had failed to abide by aspects of their listing requirements for a while.
When contacted, the Head, Corporate Communications, NSE,
She explained that the move was also meant to keep the shareholders informed about what was going on in line with the NSE's goal of encouraging transparency.
She added: "The notice is because they (the companies) haven't complied (with regulatory requirement); some of them haven't submitted results. We haven't heard from some of them; we've gone to them, to knock on their doors. So, it is in their (investors) interest. We are not just trying to delist companies; we are trying to be very transparent."
On the fate of investors in the companies, Ajene said there were clear regulatory guidelines for such processes, which would take all parties into consideration.
Also in an E-mail response to THISDAY's quarries the said the companies are to be delisted because they have consistently not complied with their post listing obligations over a two year period.
"They did not file the obligatory financial information. Thus, investors do not have sufficient financial information about these companies to enable them to make informed investment decisions about the companies.
"Delisting removes the NSE imprimatur of excellence from these companies, thus ensuring that the NSE is not lending its reputation to companies that do not comply with their obligations. It will also enable the NSE to concentrate its efforts on monitoring companies regarding which investors have sufficient information to make informed investment decisions," the NSE said.
It added: "Delisting of a company from the NSE is always a decision taken only after thorough and careful analysis. It is not a decision arrived at hastily and without full consideration of all ramifications. The shareholders of the delisted companies will still be shareholders of the companies, though now non-listed companies.
"They still have all the associated rights and privileges accruable to shareholders of a company. It is pertinent to state here that this is a notice of intention to delist and the companies have up to three months to regularize their listing status with the NSE to avoid being delisted."
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