By Peter Egwuatu
The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, yesterday, ordered the Council ofÂ the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, to produce a new Chief Executive Officer-designate to succeed its current Director-General/CEO, Professor Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke in the ongoing transformation by June.
SEC also ordered NSE to make open the process in the appointment of the new CEO to allow for a competent person who will manage its affairs in view of the importance of the stock exchange to the market and the economy in general.
At a briefing, on its new rules, SEC’s DG, Ms. Arunma Oteh, said, â€œ The commission under its new rule 234 C, will break up companies where it believes its activities constitute a restraint to competition. The rule list those business practices capable of restraining competition and creating monopoly and for which the commission may take the ultimate sanction of ordering the break-up of the company in accordance with Section 128 of the Investment and Securities Act, ISA, 2007.â€
She added that 23 new rules were created while eight old rules were amended, stressing that some of the key positions in the new rules include: the requirement for approval by the commission of appointment of executive directors of market operators.
This, according to her, is to ensure that only fit and proper persons run the affairs of market institutions.
According to her: â€œNSE has been advised to make the appointment of its new CEO and other principal officers very open and transparent to allow for credible persons that will run the exchange. We asked them to advertise the position(s) so that any person who meet the criteria can apply and also to make use of professionals that will conduct the recruitment. We gave them up to June this year to appoint a new CEO and other Executive Directors since the commission will have to approve their appointment before the current DG leaves by November.â€
Banksâ€™ shares no longer for margin trading
Oteh stressed that banksâ€™ shares will no longer be used for margin trading, adding that banks will on their own determine whether to use shares as collateral for lending.
The other key provisions in the new rules, according to her, include: the rule on validity of accounts submitted to the commission requires that it should not be more than nine months for corporate bodies and not more than 12 months for governments and supranational bodies.
The requirement to make underwriting of issues the discretion of the issuer has made underwriting of issues in the market no longer mandatory.
She explained that where an issue is underwritten, the underwriting commitment by a single underwriter shall not be more than three times its shareholders fund for equity offering and not more than four times for fixed income securities.