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Meristem, Vetiva, Others Shine at 2018 NSE CEO Awards



Meristem, Vetiva, Others Shine at 2018 NSE CEO Awards

By Dipo Olowookere

Winners have emerged at the 2018 NSE CEO Awards, a platform put together by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) since 2012 to reward and motivate listed companies, dealing member firms, fund managers and issuing houses to attain higher levels of corporate governance, compliance and performance that reinforce investor confidence in the Nigerian capital market.

At a ceremony held on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at the Stock Exchange House in Lagos, Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, Vetiva Capital Management Limited and Cordros Capital Limited were announced as joint winners of the award for Issuing Houses with the Highest Number of Primary Market Transactions (Equity).

Also, FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited, ARM Securities Limited and Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited were adjudged winners of the award for Issuing Houses with the Highest Number of Debt Issuance (Corporate Bonds) based on the value of new transactions approved and listed on the Exchange.

Earlier this year, precisely on Friday, October 19, 2018, Meristem Stockbrokers Limited was named the Most Digital Broker of the Year.

During Wednesday’s event, Pilot Securities Limited was named the Most Compliant Dealing Member Firm for 2018, having demonstrated the highest degree of compliance with the rules and regulations Governing Dealing Members of the Exchange in 2018.

Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers Limited won two awards for Dealing Member Firm with the highest volume and Dealing Member Firm with the highest value of trades.

The award for Issuing Houses with the Largest Value in a Single Deal went to Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited and Union Capital Market Limited, for facilitating the highest value of deals on the Exchange. First City Asset Management Limited won the award for Fund Manager with the Largest Listed Fund Size. This award takes into cognizance the cumulative size of new funds listed on the Exchange in 2018.

Seplat Development Company Plc emerged winner of the award for Issuer with the Highest Number of Disclosures, for issuing the highest number of non-structured disclosures during the year under review.

Nigerian Breweries Plc was named the Most Compliant Listed Company, for being an early filer of financial statements; complying with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Code of Corporate Governance; with zero sanctions received during the year under review. The company is also a Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS) certified.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema, congratulated and commended this year’s winners for their hard work, dedication and contributions to the development of the Nigerian capital market.

“I congratulate and honour all the winners of The NSE CEO Awards. These companies have demonstrated capabilities and commitment towards quality development and exceptional performance; high ethical standards; compliance with the Rules and Regulations of The Exchange, and other applicable laws and regulations that leave no room for any penalties; while acting as key drivers in strengthening the Nigerian capital market,” he said.

“The awards offer winners a year-round marketing opportunity and a big morale-booster for companies who have made extraordinary contributions to the Nigerian capital market and exemplify the highest standards,” he added.

Also at the occasion, five employees of The Exchange from the five divisions namely Shared Services, Regulation, Listings Business, Trading Business and Office of the CEO were awarded the most distinguished employees for their exemplary performance during the year under review.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via

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Binance Gets Digital Asset Service Provider Licence in France




By Adedapo Adesanya

Binance, the world’s largest crypto and blockchain infrastructure provider, has been granted a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) registration to operate in France.

The green light was given by Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), which regulates the French financial markets, with the approval of the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), the authority responsible for supervising the banking and insurance sectors in France, especially AML Regulations.

The landmark achievement for Binance represents its first DASP registration in the European Union and demonstrates its commitment to being a compliance-first exchange.

The registration allows Binance France SAS to operate as a DASP in France and provides regulatory protection for local users with regard to the implementation of French AML/CFT and customer identification requirements.

This came just after the platform received licenses to be a crypto service provider in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, a key milestone for the world’s largest digital-asset exchange as it set up the stage for a major push in the Middle East.

According to Binance, compliance and regulation are critical to the development and maturation of the crypto and blockchain industry.

Mr Changpeng Zhao (CZ), founder and CEO of Binance, said: “Effective regulation is essential for the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. The French DASP and AML/CFT regulations put in place stringent anti-money laundering and fit and proper requirements to meet the high standards necessary to be regulated in France.”

“We are grateful to the AMF and ACPR who both demonstrated a commitment to innovation that made it possible for Binance to navigate the entire application process. Since day one, Binance has always put its users first, and now the crypto community can have even further confidence in Binance France as a trusted DASP registered in France,” he added.

Mr David Princay, CEO of Binance France added, “The registration of Binance France as a DASP is a key milestone for crypto in Europe. In particular, the new levels of protection for AML will help grow crypto adoption in France and Europe. Greater adoption will help bring better liquidity to the market which will be welcomed by users and the community in particular.”

Following the registration, Binance will significantly expand its operations and intends to recruit more people focused on cryptocurrency and blockchain infrastructure development.

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We’ll Sustain High Level of Corporate Governance—Seplat




By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The immediate past chairman of Seplat Energy Plc, Mr Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka (ABC) Orjiako, has assured that the company will continue to sustain a high level of corporate governance.

Speaking last Thursday at the closing gong ceremony to honour him and introduce his successor, Mr Basil Omiyi, to the market, the energy expert applauded the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited for insisting on transparent and accountable corporate governance for issuers on its platform.

According to him, this has been critical to the company’s growth, assuring that this trend would be maintained in the interest of the firm’s stakeholders.

“The high level of corporate governance promoted by NGX for its listed companies was a key attribute that motivated Seplat Energy Plc to become part of the market.

“Since our acceptance into the market, Seplat Energy Plc has continued to deliver a corporate governance structure that is accountable and transparent to our investors, employees, government and all other relevant stakeholders.

“We are committed to sustaining these high levels of corporate governance through our collaboration with NGX as we implement market-leading measures towards ensuring Nigeria achieves a sustainable energy sector,” he said.

Corroborating him, Mr Omiyi, said, “NGX has played an instrumental role in Seplat Energy Plc’s growth within the domestic and international markets. Our history with the exchange dates back to 2014 when the shares of Seplat Energy Plc were listed in the market and over the years, Seplat has benefitted immensely from its collaboration with NGX.

“As we celebrate another milestone on the Trading Floor of the Exchange, we look forward to strengthening our partnership with NGX for the fulfilment of our joint goal of leveraging capital to empower sustainable initiatives that positively impact our investors, employees, and the environment.”

The chairman of NGX, Mr A.B. Mahmoud, in his address, congratulated Mr Orjiako for his exemplary leadership and outstanding performance of Seplat Energy for well over a decade, during which the company was listed on both NGX and the London Stock Exchange.

“The notable acquisition of eight oil and gas assets, expansion of the Oben and development of the ANOH gas plants under his leadership positioned the company as the largest indigenous domestic supplier of gas,” Mr Mahmoud, who was represented by a director on the bourse, Mr Kamarudeen Oladosu, he noted.

On his part, the CEO of NGX, Mr Temi Popoola, said, “The exchange is better positioned to lead government advocacy efforts for listed companies, promote technology advancement and digital innovation for the capital market, and increase retail investor participation in the capital market aimed at building a market for the future and addressing the prevailing challenge of financial inclusion.

“We welcome Seplat Energy Plc to a renewed NGX and look forward to deepening our collaboration to develop and push for disruptive, out of the box ideas that could support Nigeria’s energy transition into a net-zero economy.”

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JUST IN: CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate to 13%



killing interest rate

By Dipo Olowookere

For the first time in two years, the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) has been raised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to 13.0 per cent from 11.5 per cent.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the CBN, who announced this development on Tuesday in Abuja, explained that the decision to increase the benchmark interest rate was taken at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held yesterday and today.

While addressing financial reporters this afternoon, Mr Emefiele said members of the committee were unanimous with the decision to hike the rates as it was the best thing to do after holding them for about two years.

According to the central bank chief, one of the reasons for raising the rate is to control liquidity ahead of the 2023 general elections as politicians would be expected to flood the system with cash in a bid to woo voters.

However, the other parameters were left unchanged by members at the gathering as the Asymmetric corridor remained around the MPR at +100/-700bps, the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 per cent and the Liquidity Ratio (LR) at 30.0 per cent.

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