Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Infractions - NSE Indicts First Bank, Oando, John Holt, Others

The Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, has indicted Costain (West Africa) Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, John Holt Plc, Oando Plc, Conoil Plc and over 50 other quoted companies, and imposed N34.09 million fines for various infractions, ranging from publications of their activities without securing the approval of the NSE to late filings of their financial statements.

According to the NSE, in its latest X-Compliance report, 12 companies were fined N8.465 billion for failing to obtain the NSE's approval before publicizing their activities in the media; 65 companies were slammed with a fine of N6.652 billion, while another 18 were fined N16.8 billion for failing to submit their financial statements for the 2011 and 2012 financial statements as well their quarterly results.

The NSE maintained that its law stipulates that quoted companies provide it with timely information to enable it efficiently perform its function of maintaining an orderly market.

It said, "In accordance with the provisions of Appendix 111 of the Listing rules, quoted companies are required to obtain prior written approval before publications are made in the media.

"The companies contravened the provision of the Listing Rules and the Exchange applied the sanctions prescribed by the rules and the companies discharged their financial obligations."

A breakdown of the sanctions shows that Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc and Lafarge WAPCO Plc were fined N1.016 million and N0.7 million respectively by the NSE for publishing their interim results in the media without obtaining prior written approval from it, while First Bank of Nigeria Plc and Unity Bank Plc were fined N2.1 million and N1.544 million for publishing notices of extraordinary-General meeting and divestment from non-banking subsidiaries respectively.

Guinea Insurance Plc was indicted and fined N0.157 million for publishing its audited account without approval; Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc was fined N0.763 million for publishing changes in its Board without the consent of the NSE and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals was sanctioned with a fine of N0.181 million for publicizing the appointment of its Acting Chief Executive Officer with notifying the NSE.

Wema Bank was fined N0.352 million; Honeywell Flour Mills Plc was fined N0.647 million, Multiverse Plc was fined N0.496 million and Diamond Bank Plc was fined N0.406 million; for not securing approval before publishing the appointment of directors in their various Boards.

The NSE slammed a N2.85 million fine on Costain for late submission of its audited financial statements for the year ended, March 31, 2012; C&I Leasing Plc was fined N1.05 million for delay in the submission of its 2012 financial statements, due January 31 while John Holt Plc was fined N1.7 million for its failure to submit its 2011 financial statement, due September 2011.

For failure to submit their 2011 financial statements, due December 31, Cornerstone Insurance Plc was fined N1.5 million; Conoil was fined N1.2 million, while UnityKapital Assurance Plc Niger Insurance Plc, Royal Exchange Plc, Union Bank Nigeria Plc and Universal Insurance Plc were slammed a fine of N0.9 million each.

FTN Cocoa Plc was fined N0.2 million, Dangote Flour Mills Plc was fined N0.4 million, Regency Alliance Insurance Plc was fined N0.5 million, Oando Plc was fined N0.5 million, Premier Paints Plc was fined N0.7 million and Scoa Nigeria Plc was punished with a N0.8 million fine.

Several other companies, numbering 31, were fined between N2,857.14 and N0.245 million, totaling about N2.174 million, for failure to submit their full year and quarterly results.

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