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Economy

SEC Shifts Focus to Non-Interest Issuance, Unclaimed Dividends

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Non-Interest Issuance cmc meeting

**Threatens Ponzi Scheme Operators

By Dipo Olowookere

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said it will now shift its focus on encouraging states of the federation and corporate bodies to issue non-interest investment tools.

The Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, explained that the reason for this move is to attract capital into the market.

Speaking on Thursday at his first Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting as the head of the apex capital market regulatory body, he said the issuance of non-interest debt securities will deepen the market.

“We have seen how successful Sovereign Sukuk issues have been, and wonder why we are yet to have sub-national and corporate issues.

“We must end the barriers and remove them, as this will help deepen the market and attract more capital into it,” Mr Yuguda said at the virtual meeting.

Business Post reports that in 2017, the federal government issued N100 billion non-interest-bearing bond otherwise known as Sukuk to investors. The exercise was embraced by subscribers.

At the last exercise held in June 2020, the third since its introduction three years ago, the sale attracted a very high level of subscription from market participants, who staked N669.1 billion on the N150 billion auctioned by the Debt Management Office (DMO), representing a subscription level of 446 per cent, with N162.6 billion eventually allotted.

Proceeds from the sale of the debt instruments were only handed over to the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, last month to be used to finance 44 federal roads spread across the six geo-political zones of the country under the Sukuk roads project.

The SEC chief at the CMC meeting said the agency was looking at more of the non-interest issuances to make the capital market more attractive.

Also, he expressed worry at the quantum of unclaimed dividends in the market, saying the commission will pay attention to issues around e-dividend.

“To this end, we shall be paying attention to issues around e-dividend and the quantum of unclaimed dividends we have. We believe that to make retail investors return to the market, their concerns must be addressed. Market conduct must also be improved, and bad behaviour rooted out,” the SEC chief said.

In addition, he pledged to clamp down on illegal operators luring unsuspecting investors in the market, stressing that they were becoming a nuisance to the capital market.

According to him, the commission would further strengthen its enforcement regime and ensure that erring market operators were duly penalised to protect investors, noting that SEC needed to restore investor confidence in the market.

“The commission recognises that a fair, transparent and orderly market, with a sound regulatory framework, can promote trust and restore this confidence.

“In turn, this improves the credibility of the capital market necessary to attract retail, institutional and foreign participants. We will also be focusing on the investor experience, seeking to make it easier for the investor to understand and access the market,” the DG said.

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 dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

Economy

Access Holdings Merges Sigma, FGPL for Formidable PFA Business

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Sigma Pensions

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

To create a formidable pension funds administration (PFA) business in Nigeria, Access Holdings Plc has merged its subsidiary, First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL), with Sigma Pensions Limited.

The marriage between the two PFAs was made possible after Access Holdings acquired an indirect equity stake in Sigma.

Recall that in October, the company announced that it was buying a stake in Sigma to revolutionise the PFA sector.

On Thursday, a court approved the merger between the firm and FGPL, giving room for the organisations to become one and offer innovative products to customers.

A notice signed by the group company secretary of Access Holdings, Mr Sunday Ekwochi, confirmed the development.

“Sequel to our announcement on October 25, 2022, Access Holdings Plc, trading as Access Corporation, today announces the completion of its acquisition of an indirect equity stake in Sigma and the merger of its subsidiary, FGPL, with Sigma.

“Following the sanction of the scheme of merger between Sigma and FGPL by the Federal High Court on December 1, 2022, FGPL has been dissolved without winding up, leaving Sigma as the surviving entity,” a part of the statement dated Friday, December 2, 2022.

“Following the successful completion of the merger, our plan is to leverage the synergies of these entities, as well as the corporation’s expansive distribution network, strong risk management culture and best-in-class governance standards to create a formidable pension funds administration business,” the group chief executive of Access Holdings, Mr Herbert Wigwe, stated.

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Economy

FrieslandCampina Buoys Unlisted Securities Market by 1.11%

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FrieslandCampina

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the positive zone on Friday, December 2, as it appreciated by 1.11 per cent at the close of business.

This was driven by a gain in the stock price of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc. The company appreciated by N5.29 price to close at N66.63 per share versus the previous day’s price of N61.34 per share.

This outweighed the 1 Kobo loss recorded by UBN Property Plc during the session as the price of the property investment company went down to 91 Kobo per unit from the preceding session’s 92 Kobo.

When the market closed for the day, the total value of the unlisted securities market increased by N10.27 billion to N933.71 billion from N923.44 billion.

In the same vein, the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) stretched by 7.82 basis points to 710.58 basis points from the 702.76 basis points in the previous session.

During the session, there was a surge in the volume of securities by 140,993.7 per cent as investors exchanged 2.2 million units, in contrast to the previous day’s 14,508 units.

Likewise, the value of shares traded at the session ballooned by 1,526.6 per cent to N10.7 million from the N657,534.75 recorded a day earlier, while the number of deals improved by 400 per cent to 20 deals from four deals.

When the market closed for the day, AG Mortgage Bank Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc occupied second place with 687.8 million units worth N14.3 billion, while Lighthouse Financials Services Plc was in third place with 224.7 million units valued at N112.3 million.

Also, CSCS Plc ended the day as the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) by trading 687.8 million units worth N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 29.1 billion units valued at N7.7 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc was in third place after selling 16.8 million units worth N1.9 billion.

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Economy

Naira Sells N730/$1 in Black Market, N748/$1 at P2P, N445.33/$1 at I&E

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redesign Naira Notes

By Adedapo Adesanya

Normalcy seems to have returned to the currency market in Nigeria as the Naira further appreciated against the United States Dollar at the various segments of the ecosystem.

In the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market, the Nigerian currency gained 50 Kobo or 0.11 per cent to quote at N445.33/$1, in contrast to Thursday’s rate of N445.83/$1.

It was observed that domestic currency withstood significant FX demand pressure during the trading session as forex traders completed transactions worth $159.02 million compared with the $99.50 million executed a day earlier, indicating a 59.1 per cent or $59.52 million increase in FX turnover.

Also, in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) window, the local currency appreciated against the greenback by N14 or 1.8 per cent to trade at N748/$1 compared with the preceding day’s N762/$1.

In the same vein, the value of the Nigerian currency to its American counterpart improved by N10 yesterday to sell for N735/$1 against N745/$1 of the preceding trading session.

However, in the interbank segment, the Naira lost N3.19 against the Euro on Friday as it closed at N464.98/€1 versus Thursday’s exchange rate of N461.79/€1, and against the Pound Sterling, it depreciated by N7.66 to quote at N542.33/£1 compared with the previous day’s N534.67/£1.

Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency market rebounded yesterday as investors showed renewed interest in digital assets, causing the value of Dogecoin (DOGE) to rise by 2.6 per cent to $0.1016.

Further, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 1.8 per cent increase to sell at $0.3189, Ethereum (ETH) saw its value go up by 1.3 per cent to close at $1,289.56, and Solana (SOL) appreciated by 1.4 per cent to trade at $13.65.

In addition, Binance Coin (BNB) grew by 1.1 per cent to settle at $291.72, Litecoin (LTC) appreciated by 1.0 per cent to trade at $77.23, Ripple (XRP) made a 0.9 per cent rise to finish at $0.3924, and Bitcoin (BTC) rose by 0.5 per cent to $17,030.33.

However, the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) closed flat at $1.00 on Friday.

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