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SEC vows to transfer unregularised shareholdings to development fund

By Favour Nnabugwu &Luminous Jannamike

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), yesterday, vowed to transfer to the Capital Market Development Fund, CMDF, all shares not consolidated into one account by investors who subscribed for them using multiple identities.

Abdul Zubair, SEC’s Acting Director-General, disclosed this in Abuja, at a press briefing on the on-going Capital Market initiatives by the Commission.

According to him, SEC will effect the transfer to CMDF on 31st March 2018, which marks the expiration of a fresh extension for the Commission’s forbearance of multiple accounts by investors.

He said the new date was picked with a view to encouraging many more investors to consolidate their multiple subscriptions into one account.

“Investors that bought shares of the same company during public offers, using different names, are allowed till March 31st this year to continue to approach their stockbrokers or Registrars to regularize their shareholdings, in line with SEC Rules on customer identification. Thereafter, all shares not regularized shall be transferred, on trust, to the Capital Market Development Fund,” Zubair warned

The Acting SEC DG, who also announced a new deadline for investor-enrolment into the e-dividend initiative of the Commission, said the move was to ensure more investors key into the e-dividend payment platform..

Vanguard  recalls that SEC had in June last year announced December 31st, 2017, as deadline for issuance of physical dividend warrants to shareholders by quoted companies to tackle unclaimed dividends and mitigate the risks associated with paper warrants.

While noting that only 2.1 million investors have registered, Zubair said that the e-Dividend enrolment would no longer be free as the Commission has decided to stop underwriting the processing fee for investors.

He stressed that investors who are yet to key into the e-payment platform can continue with the registration exercise at a marginal cost of N150.

Zubair enjoined such investor to approach their Banks or Registrars to seamlessly mandate their Bank Accounts for the collection of their dividends electronically, including unclaimed dividends, not exceeding 12 years of issue; as the N150 will not be demanded from them at he point of registration.

“For the avoidance of doubts, the N150 processing fee would not be demanded from investors, at the point of registration or submission of completion of e-Dividend Mandate Forms,” he clarified.

On the issuance of dividend paper warrant, Zubair said: “in line with approved rules of the Commission, all Registrars have been directed to stop the issuance of dividend paper warrant with effect from January 1, 2018.

“However, for the avoidance of doubts, all paper dividend warrants issued up till December, 31, 2017 should be honoured. Banks and Registrars are accordingly implored to note and adhere.”


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