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Regulator, Market Operators Mull e-IPOs

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A committee comprising of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Central Securities and Clearing System(CSCS), and six other organisations have been set up to work out the modalities involved in issuing Electronic Initial Public Offers (e-IPOs) in Nigeria’s financial markets.

 

e-IPO is an application based and browser based software that facilitates online offerings to the public on a private company’s stock. Such company can thus raise money by going public through a cost-effective and comprehensive benefit that an E-IPO offers.

 

Mary Uduk, the ag. the director general of the SEC, said that the e-IPO committee was set up in Lagos last week during the first Capital Market Committee (CMC) Meeting.

 

Other organisations involved in the e-IPO deliberations include, Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria (AIHN), Association of Stock Broking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR), Capital market Solicitor Association(CMSA), Fund Managers Association of Nigeria (FMAN), and Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS).

 

According to Uduk, globally, capital markets are moving towards e-IPO and the Nigerian Capital Market is working to adopt this trend.

 

Uduk who briefed pressmen alongside Messrs Isiaku Bala Tilde, Ag. Executive Commissioner, Operations; Henry Adekunle Rowlands, Ag. Executive Commissioner Corporate Services; Reginald Karawusa, Ag. Executive Commissioner, Legal and Enforcement on the resolutions of the CMC meeting, said the issue of increase in delistings by public companies was highlighted, and recognised as a threat to the growth and development of the market.

 

In a bid to curb the trend the Ag. DG noted that “In view of the fact that quite a number of them are highly capitalized companies. We are expecting the committee on listings would come up with strategies to attract new listings.”

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Towards further strengthening of the capital market, Uduk explained that the extension of a forbearance window to investors on multiple subscriptions and forbearance for shareholders with multiple accounts, will last till September 2018. “Registrars have acknowledged that investors have started coming forward but there are challenges in the process.

 

The CMC deliberated and recommended the appropriate Technical Committee to seek input and come up with recommendations to address the challenges. Therefore, we encourage all affected investors to come forward and take advantage of the window before the new deadline.” Speaking on Direct Cash Settlement (DCS), Uduk that out of 5.1 million accounts with the CSCS, only 1,191 have Direct Cash Settlement (DCS) subscriptions and only 15 out of 18 settlement banks have contributed to the DCS initiative.

 

“Considering the fact that DCS will instill confidence in the market, there is the need for all parties involved in the process to work harder to achieve a 100% migration.” She said.

 

On the issue of commodities market, Uduk said “The Technical Committee working on developing a vibrant commodities market for Nigeria presented its report at the meeting. The report will be exposed to the public to elicit comments and inputs from all stakeholders.

 

She added that “the Technical Committee on Non-Interest capital market reported that the first sovereign sukuk was issued in 2017 and about 1,600 retail investors invested N5 billion on the instrument.

 

The next level of engagements is to work with supra-national entities (such as IFC, AfDB), state governments, institutions (such as Federal Mortgage Bank, NMRC) to include sukuk options in their capital investment plans.

 

“The Technical Committee on E-dividend registration reported that the total approved mandates currently is about 2.5 million translating into 466,000 unique investor accounts. The deadline for the free E-dividend registration was 31 March 2018 and that has not changed. The new direction of the industry is that bank managers along with registrars will charge a token sum of N150 per mandate.

 

The Commission also warned the public to exercise extreme caution with regards to crypto currencies as a vehicle of investments, as part of its investor protection mandate.

 

The warning was particular, especially as none of the persons, companies or entities promoting cryptocurrencies has been recognized or authorized by SEC or by other regulatory agencies in Nigeria to receive deposit from the public or to provide any investment or other financial service within or outside Nigeria.

 

Other deliberations and outcome at the CMC meeting include an update of the Commission’s database for registration and functions of Capital Market Operators (CMOs), which can be found on the SEC website, the issuance of a new set of Registration Certificates to operators without expiry dates, made available at the SEC’s head office and Lagos Zonal Office and the commencement of the distribution of electronic annual accounts of public companies.

 

On financial inclusion, the Ag. DG mentioned that the Commission is working with National Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to institute a stand-alone capital market curriculum for basic and senior secondary education in Nigeria. “To this end, Trade Groups made commitments at the meeting to support this initiative.”

 

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E-Financial

Fidelity Bank MD Not On The Run – Bank

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Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo

Fidelity Bank Plc has said that Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, its managing director/CEO, has not jumped bail, clarifying that he was on a sick leave.

 

The bank in a statement expressed shock at the online media report, stressing that it was a “responsible corporate citizen and staff members, including the MD/CEO, conduct their operations in line with the laws of the Federation”.

 

The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to recent online media re¬ports that Fidelity Bank MD/CEO has jumped bail. The reports are completely untrue and the facts of the matter are hereby presented as follows;

 

“The MD/CEO has been away on medical leave, which was duly approved by the Board, since December 4, 2018.

 

“The Bank informed the CBN Governor of this development as the MD/CEO was unable to attend the annual Bankers Committee retreat held between December 8 & 9, 2018, on ac¬count of this. An Executive Director represented the bank.

 

“The Bank received a letter from the EFCC about 48 hours ago, requesting for the attention of the MD/CEO.

 

The Bank responded to the EFCC immediately that the MD/CEO was on medical vacation and gave an indicative date that he will report to the Commission.

 

“The Bank also attached the following documents to the response; the leave approval by the Board Chair¬man and the letter sent to the CBN Governor on the inability of the MD/CEO to attend the Bankers Committee retreat”.

The bank continued: “We are therefore shocked by the misleading reports in the online media and have provided the above clarifications to set the records straight.

 

“Fidelity Bank is a responsible corporate citizen and staff members, including the MD/CEO, conduct their operations in line with the laws of the Federation”, it concluded.

 

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E-Financial

CBN says TSA Transactions Value Hit N13.53trn in 2017

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the migration of the Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has led to positive growth in the value and volume of transactions recorded in end to end payments in 2017.

The bank made the assertion in the 2017 Annual Activity Report released by its Banking and Payments System Department on its Website.

It also attributed the growth to the rise in the number of MDAs accounts migrated to the TSA.

The CBN said that the value of transactions recorded at the period reviewed stood at N13.53 trillion from the N10.65 trillion in 2016, representing an increase of 27.01 per cent.

The apex bank also said that volume of transaction grew with an increase of 3.84 per cent to record 39.7 million in 2017 as against the 38.24 million recorded in 2016.

According to the CBN, the payment instructions comprises recurrent, overhead and capital expenditure.

On the TSA implementation, the bank added that during the year, stakeholders’ engagements took place to improve the operations and address some of the challenges facing it.

“In order to engender healthy competition and ensure effective service delivery, the Federal Government’s TSA payment gateway model was modified to accommodate other service providers.

“The aggregator model was developed to bring in more players into the e-collection process, thereby providing a level playing ground for all the Payments Service Providers (PSPs), with NIBSS as the aggregator.

“The initiative was driven by the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) as the implementing agency, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria,” it said.

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E-Financial

Nigeria’s OneFi Secures First Ever Credit Rating for an African Fintech

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One Finance Limited (OneFi) announces that is has been assigned a “BB” rating with a Stable outlook, from Global Credit Rating Co. The company behind Paylater, Nigeria’s leading digital financial services platform that specialises in consumer lending, becomes Africa’s first fintech company to secure such a rating, as it looks to increase transparency around its credit and lending service.

Global Credit Rating Co. is Africa’s leading ratings agency, accounting for the majority of all ratings accorded on the African continent.

The report analysed key financial and operational factors including risk management, liquidity positioning, borrowings and capital under management. In arriving at this rating of “BB” with a Stable outlook, Global Credit Rating Co’s analysis found that OneFi is well capitalised vis-a-vis its current risk level, and also highlighted the fact that the company currently has a low liquidity risk.

Commenting on the news, Chijioke Dozie, OneFi CEO says, “The entire process of securing this rating from Global Credit Rating has been rigorous, testing, but ultimately, hugely beneficial for the company.

It has allowed us to scrutinise our finance and business models, as well as provide full transparency not only to our stakeholders, but to Paylater’s tens of thousands of customers across Nigeria.

“The work does not stop here. We are a young company, and the very first African fintech platform to be awarded with a credit score, and whilst we are pleased with our “BB” rating and Stable Outlook, which we believe fairly reflects our current standing, we are now focussed on expanding our product offering, improving our asset quality, driving up customer loan applications and looking at ways in which we can bring our innovative approach to finance management to additional markets”.

Paylater, launched in 2016 by Nigerian finance entrepreneurs Chijioke and Ngozi Dozie, provides hassle-free loans without need for human intervention or bias in decision making.

Loans are disbursed to applicants account within 5 minutes of approval. The credit-as-a-service company aims to be a one-stop-shop where all the financial needs of the Nigerian consumer can be met through one platform.

To-date, the Paylater app has been downloaded over 1 million times with over 1,575 loans approved daily. The average disbursement time is 12 seconds and the average loan borrowed is $80 with a 3 month loan tenor.

As part of its ongoing commitment to transparency, the lending platform has, since September, provided each Paylater loan applicant with a free credit bureau report, irrespective of decision, with 100% reporting of positive and negative data. To date, the company has shared over 60,000 reports with customers.

Chijioke Dozie concludes, “With the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] currently revising the Licensing Regime for finance providers and fintech platforms in Nigeria, and with more formality and  regulation surrounding the sector, this was the right time for OneFi to undertake the positive step of securing a credit rating score, as we work to build a legitimate, trusted lending brand. We are now held to the same levels of transparency and scrutiny as other leading financial institutions in Nigeria”.

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