Movement in share prices is caused by a lot of factors. Some of these factors are external and beyond the control of a company. They include; inflation rate, interest rates, GDP, world events amongst others.
There are certain infractions made by companies which would see the regulators step in to control price movements. This is when suspension of a company’s shares happens.
According to the Rule Book of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (Issuers’ Rules), a full suspension of a stock is the halt of trading activities in a listed security for a period, while a technical suspension is the interruption of price movement in a listed security for a period so that any dealings in the securities which occur during the period of the suspension will not result in any change in price, which change may have occurred had the suspension not been implemented.
In Nigeria, no listed security can be placed on technical suspension, except on the directive of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Any application for full suspension of trading in an Issuer’s securities must be made to the Exchange in writing by the issuer, or its authorized representative, not later than ten (10) business days before the suspension is expected to take effect.
There are several instances in which the Exchange will consider an application from an issuer for full suspension of trading in its listed securities.
- Capital restructuring involving subdivision of shares (share split), consolidation of shares (reverse split), or capital reduction, and capital restructuring transactions such as holding company arrangements, and spin offs;
- Voluntary Delisting
- Mergers and acquisitions that will result in the delisting of an issuer
- Takeover Bid;
- Or for such other transactions as The Exchange may approve from time to time. If the Exchange is of the view that such suspension will be in the interest of the investing public and in accordance with SEC rules.
Earlier this year, seventeen listed companies were suspended for non-compliance with Rule 3.1: “Rules for Filing of Accounts and Treatment of Default Filing”, which states that; “If an Issuer fails to file the relevant accounts by the expiration of the Cure Period, The Exchange will: (a) send to the Issuer a “Second Filing Deficiency Notification” within two (2) business days after the Cure Period; (b) suspend trading in the Issuer’s securities; and (c) notify the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Market within twenty-four (24) hours of the suspension”.
Last month, shares of Oando Plc were placed on suspension (beginning with a full suspension which was replaced with a technical suspension after 48 hours) due to petitions being filed against the Oil & Gas Company. A comprehensive review of the petitions was carried out by SEC, and investigations revealed that the company had breached the Investments and Securities Act 2007 and the SEC Code of Corporate Governance for public companies.