The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) boosted its revenue with N143.6 million fines imposed on listed companies across banks, manufacturing, insurance sectors, among others between January and November of 2019. This is contained in the X-compliance report obtained by Nairametrics from the Stock Exchange.
The report disclosed that while three firms were fined over N8 million for non-disclosure of material information, 15 others were asked to pay N135 million for their failure to file their financial statements by the due date.
Why it matters: Every listed company is required to provide the Exchange with timely information to enable it efficiently perform its function of maintaining an orderly market. In accordance with the provisions of Appendix III: General Undertaking (Equities), Rulebook of The Exchange, 2015 (Issuers’ Rules) and The Exchange’s Circular No. NSE/LARD/LRD/CIR3/17/05/12 on Publication of Announcements or Press Releases via The Issuers’ Portal, listed companies are required to obtain prior written approval from The Exchange before publications that affect shareholders’ interest are made in the media or via the Issuers’ Portal.
Details: For non-disclosure of material information, Access Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and First Aluminium Nigeria Plc were fined N4.41 million, N3.24 million and N476,280, respectively. Access Bank and the defunct Diamond Bank were penalised for non-disclosure of resolutions passed at their board meetings while First Aluminium was penalised for non-dispatch of the notice of its annual general meeting and annual reports to shareholders 21 days before the date of the meeting.
Failure to file financial statements: Grief Nigeria Plc, Union Bank Nigeria Plc, Afromedia Plc, Conoil Plc, Lasaco Assurance Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Universal Insurance Plc and Thomas Wyatt Nigeria Plc and others were fined. In this category, Amino International got the highest fine of N41.1 million as it failed to file its financial statements since 2015.
- R.T Briscoe was fined N31.3 million for the delay in filing its 2018 audited financial statement, first and second quarter of 2019 financial statements.
- Niger Insurance and Guinea Insurance were fined N19.8 million and N19.2 million, respectively, for failing to file their full-year 2018, first quarter 2019 and second quarter 2019 financial statements as and when due.
- Royal Exchange, Thomas Wyatt and Lasaco Assurance were respectively fined N8.9 million, N4.9 million and N1.4 million, for failing to file their audited 2018 and first quarter 2019 financial statements while Universal Insurance got a fine of N5 million for failing to audit 2018, first and second quarter 2019 financial statements.
- NSE slammed N800,000, N200,000, N400,000 and N400,000 on Grief Nigeria, Union Bank, Afromedia and Conoil for the delay in filing their 2018 financial statements.
- Flour Mills of Nigeria, Access Bank and Interlinked Technologies received respective penalties of N1.2 million, N700,000 and N200,000 for failing to file the financial statements for the first quarter, second quarter and second quarter of 2019 respectively.
Meanwhile, some shareholders of the companies, who spoke with our analyst in separate interviews, praised the management of the Stock Exchange for being strict on its compliance exercise as they called for the punishment of erring companies.
National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Shehu Mikail, agreed that the companies should be fined but urged the Exchange to ensure such fines are not deducted from the shareholders’ fund, which to him, would create holes in the investment pockets in the companies.
President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, lamented that the incessant penalties on companies were discouraging companies from seeking quotation on the nation’s bourse, thereby affecting the growth and development of the market. He added that the market regulators must pursue friendly policies and initiatives to put the market forward.