By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last Wednesday disclosed that the rules governing the listing of Sukuk and similar securities have been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A notice released by the stock exchange to the investing public revealed that the rules were approved by SEC on March 17, 2016 and would take effect from Monday, July 23, 2018.
Business Post reports that the draft rules were considered by the Rules and Adjudication Committee of Council (RAC) on October 21, 2014, and approved for exposure to stakeholders for comments from October 29 to November 12, 2014.
Thereafter, the RAC considered the draft rules and stakeholders’ comments at its meeting of February 17, 2015, and approved the draft rules for submission to the National Council of the Exchange (Council).
It was further gathered that at its meeting of February 26, 2015, the council approved the draft rules for submission to SEC on March 5, 2015.
According to the approved listing rules obtained by Business Post, SEC said an issuer of sukuk must submit its listing application through a stockbroker after first appointing a Shari’ah adviser recognized or registered with the apex capital market regulator.
Such adviser, SEC explained will carry out primary responsibilities like ensuring that the applicable Shari’ah principles and any relevant resolutions and rulings endorsed are complied with; applying ijtihad (reasoning) to ensure all aspects relating to Sukuk issuance are in compliance with Shari’ah principles amongst others.
It was further stated that the NSE has discretion to admit and list the Sukuk on its platform and may even approve or reject the applications for listing, as it deems fit.
Furthermore, the NSE “may approve applications for listing and quotation of Sukuk or debt securities unconditionally or subject to such conditions, as it deems fit.”
SEC also disclosed in the rules that an Issuer shall, at least one month before the maturity date, announce the maturity date of each issuance of Sukuk or debt securities.
It stated that, “An issuer, which is a foreign corporation, shall announce to the NSE concurrently all information required to be publicly disclosed to its domestic regulatory authorities and other stock exchanges, if applicable.”
The management of SEC also said “an issuer shall announce its half year unaudited or audited financial statements on a consolidated basis within 30 days of the quarter or half year of the issuer’s financial year, and the statements shall state whether there is any abnormal circumstance that has affected or will affect the business and financial position of the issuer.”
“An issuer and its guarantor shall announce to the NSE their respective annual audited financial statements, together with the auditors’ and directors’ reports within three months of their respective financial years.
“In addition to the circumstances set out in the Listings Rules of the NSE, the exchange may at any time de-list an issuer from the Official List in any of the following circumstances: (a) upon the occurrence of any of the events which the Trustee has declared would render the Sukuk or debt securities to be immediately due and repayable pursuant to the Trust Deed; (b) upon the maturity or expiration of the Sukuk or debt securities; (c) upon full redemption of the Sukuk or debt securities; or (d) any other circumstances which in the opinion of the NSE, do not warrant the continued listing of the Sukuk or debt securities.”
According to the rules, Sukuk refers to investment certificates or notes of equal value which evidences undivided interest/ownership of tangible assets, usufructs (the right to enjoy a thing, property of which is invested in another) and services or investment in the assets of particular projects or special investment activity using Shari’ah principles and concepts approved by SEC.
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