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SEC Says Investors Will Forfeit Multiple Subscriptions to Public Offers



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Investors in the Nigerian capital market with multiple subscriptions for the same company’s public offers may forfeit their investment, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said yesterday.

The capital market regulatory authority said at its last Capital Market Committee meeting (CMC), that the report of a committee on formulating a uniform position for the treatment of multiple subscriptions to public offers was approved.

The commission said in a circular that the Nigerian capital market cannot, and should not be seen to be rewarding wrongful acts of the perpetrators, to ensure the global sustainability of the market’s integrity and reputation.

The circular observed that one major source of unclaimed dividend remained the use of non-existent identity to make multiple subscriptions to public offers.

Consequently, the committee unanimously agreed that submitting multiple applications for the same public offer was illegal, as perpetrators did so under false pretence.

The report described two groups of investors involved in multiple subscriptions: one group are investors who actually exist, but decide to joggle their names in different forms to enable them purchase more than the permitted units of shares on offer while the other group are investors who do not exist, but use fictitious names for the purpose of purchasing more than the permitted number of shares during public offers.

The report said both groups had fraudulent intentions and their actions are illegal.

To check this illegality, the CMC recommended that investors in the first group should be considered for a level of forbearance, by giving them a grace period up to September 1, 2017 to come forward and prove their individual identities, subject to highest know your customer, KYC criteria, to be defined by the SEC.

Owners of stocks, whose identities were established, SEC said, would be allowed to consolidate their accounts into one.

At the expiration of the deadline, unclaimed dividends traceable to this category of investors identified and consolidated, along with their securities shall be transferred to the Nigerian Capital Market Development Fund to be managed transparently in a separate basket under clear guidelines.

Those in the second category whose securities with non-existent owners, or whose unclaimed dividends and related securities cannot be ascribed to anyone shall also be transferred to the Nigerian Capital Market Development Fund.

Going forward, the commission said, any investor found to be engaging in the illegal act of multiple subscriptions for the same public offer shall be liable for prosecution.

Besides, the capital market shall put in place adequate processes, leveraging on technology, towards detecting and identifying such cases of multiple subscriptions in the future.

“All investors with cases of multiple subscriptions considered for forbearance should by this circular approach stockbrokers or registrars to regularize their investment,” the commission said through its spokesperson, Naif Abdussalam.

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Vodacom Director Urges Accountants to Leverage Sage/ACCA Partnership



By peter oluka

Mr Oluseyi Olanrewaju, the finance director at Vodacom Business Africa (Nigeria) Limited, has re-emphasised the need for accounting professionals to embrace digital culture.

He made the remark while delivering keynote address at Sage-ACCA Continuing Professional Development (CPA), event held in Lagos Tuesday, which was the launch of partnership between the two entities to provide platform for accountants to embrace digital transformations.

Olanrewaju emphasized that rapid growth and development in information technology has brought about digital revolution in economic, social and cultural fields, and bequeaths today’s accountant with the responsibility to improve on the skills to remain relevant.

With the recognition of the accounting discipline as an information system, he said, the accountants can’t undermine the influence that the changes in processes of carrying out transactions with the usage of IT in business operations.

In a bid to keep up with changing conditions and the enabling inclusion of information era the need to embrace the digital culture in accountancy can’t be overlooked especially in medium to large scale business.

“Technology should not be viewed as a threat rather tools to boost accounting profession. Digitization is the future; as accountants we can’t run from it. Yes, manual processes are ridden with high risks on accounting and costly. Thus, changes is the environment necessitates changes in applicable accounting tools and skills required to carry out accounting roles”, Olanrewaju said.

Determinants of business that qualify as medium to large include: IT staff & skills including several specialists, multiple locations, large capex in relation to other businesses in operation in the same industry and business with main considerations for technology purchases being advanced features and security.

Using the acronym: VUCA- Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous situations, he reminded the participants that, roles of accountants have changed overtime, demanding for real-time ‘results’. “The environment demands you react quickly to ongoing changes that are unpredictable; it requires you to take action. Therefore, there is little you can achieve today in the ‘VUCA’ world without digitization”.

The keynote speaker also applauded Sage X3 offering, such as robust accounting processes; consistency; time saving; delivers visible metrics; helps to improve operational efficiency and assists users to be in line with government regulations and international accounting rules.

Participants at the interactive session with other C-level ACCA members also learnt how Sage X3 offers the bedrock of the adjustments required in today’s accounting field.

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CBN 14% Interest Rate: Investors Still Expecting Cut



Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM.

By peter oluka

Nigeria’s central bank has yet again left benchmark interest rates unchanged at 14% in November amid a ‘fragile’ economic recovery.

But, Lukman Otunuta research analyst ForexTimes, in his comment, believes investors are still keen on interest rate cut.

The apex bank also left the cash reserve ratio (CRR) at 22.5 percent.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele made this known on Tuesday while announcing the decision of the committee in Abuja.

Emefiele said only one of the nine members of the committee voted against the decision.

“Inflation in particular requires very close monitoring to gain clarity on the medium-term optimum path of monetary policy,” Emefiele told a news conference.

The monetary Policy Committee had begun its last meeting for the year on Monday.

According to the committee, the interest rate was held to prevent exchange rate pressure.

Commenting on the decision by the apex bank, Otunuga said, “With GDP growth in the third quarter rising by 1.40%, it seems that the central bank is hesitant to take action anytime soon.

“I believe that Nigeria’s improving economic landscape, and signs of inflationary pressures easing, are likely to support investor expectations of a rate cut.

“With inflation in Nigeria at 15.91%, there is a suspicion that the CBN may be waiting for a more sustained decline before moving ahead with rate cuts to support economic growth.

“As the year slowly comes to an end, investors will continue to observe Nigeria’s hard economic data and inflation figures for hints as to when the CBN might act in 2018”.

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Bitcoin Smashes Through $8,000 for the First time



Bitcoin hit a new record high on Monday after smashing through the $8,000 level for the first time over the weekend, marking an almost 50 percent climb in just eight days.

The new high came after leading U.S. payments company Square Inc said late last week that it had started allowing select customers to buy and sell bitcoins on its Cash app.

Bitcoin traded as high as $8,197.81 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, up over 2 percent on the day and around 48 percent up since dipping to $5,555 on Nov. 12.

An eye-watering eightfold increase in the value of the volatile cryptocurrency since the start of the year has led to muliple warnings that the market is in a bubble, and institutional investors are broadly staying away.

Retail investors, however, as well as some hedge funds and family offices, are piling into the market. The “market cap” of all cryptocurrencies hit an all-time high of over $242 billion on Monday, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

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