Multiple subscriptions: SEC regularises over 3.4bn shares

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), says over 3.4 billion units of shares have been consolidated in the market under multiple subscription regularisation initiative aimed at tackling unclaimed dividends.

Ms Mary Uduk, SEC Acting Director-General, stated this on Friday at the second quarter Post Capital Market Committee (CMC) news briefing in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SEC, in order to tame unclaimed dividends, encouraged investors who bought shares during the banking consolidation with different names to consolidate their multiple subscriptions into a single account.

Uduk said over 3.4 billion units of shares had been effectively regularised and 2.7 million account holders had been given the mandate to pay their dividends into e-dividend accounts to tackle the menace of unclaimed dividends.

She said Heads of Banking Operations of all the commercial banks had agreed to collaborate with the commission to display banners in banking halls all over the country to sensitise the public on the regularisation of multiple subscription of shares.

“Company Secretaries of listed companies have also agreed to display similar information on their websites and offices.

“So far, the regularisation exercise has recorded the consolidation of over 3.4 billion units of shares,” Uduk said.

According to her, brokers and registrars are required to make available to the Committee on multiple subscription the number of regularised accounts, on a periodic basis.

The Acting director-general said the commission would continue to engage relevant stakeholders on e-dividend and multiple subscription accounts.

Uduk said the commission would discourage unclaimed dividends from building up from securities of newly-listed companies.

She noted that the commission would collaborate with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to include e-Dividend Mandate Management System (E-DMMS) charges in the guideline for bank charges.

Uduk disclosed that after extensive discussions with the capital market committee, the commission intended to partner the apex bank to issue charges on E-DMMS transactions.

“The CBN has published charges for the banks. This means that any transactions carried out by any bank, there is an established charge.

“The e-dividend charge is not part of the charges from the CBN, and so, because of that, investors are having issues with banks where for instance they are charged for some transactions that are not listed as bank charges which they do not know.

“They complained to us and so we decided that we will engage CBN to actually make this part of their charges and so any e-dividend carried out will be charged by the CBN.

“This came up as a result of us stopping the payment of the e-dividend mandate as we were underwriting the initiative before we mandate investors to pay a token of N150 per mandate.

“We believe the capital market of our dreams can only be achieved through the collaboration of all stakeholders,” Uduk said.