NSE lifts suspension on Oando's shares again, blames SEC for confusion

NSE lifts suspension on Oando's shares again, blames SEC for confusion”

WorldStage Newsonline- The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday announced that the earlier directive to lift the six-month old technical suspension it placed on the shares of Oando Plc will take effect from Thursday, April 12, 2018.

Stock trader and Chief Executive of Cowry Asset Management, Mr Johnson Chukwu, told Channels Television that investors demand for the shares of Oando topped almost 77 million in early trade.

The NSE had disclosed in a notice, Tuesday, that the decision to lift the technical suspension was based on a request by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The energy company is now under independent forensic investigation ordered by the Securities Commission with an interim report due in a few weeks' time.

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The NSE informed the company that the suspension of its shares by the NSE was done in compliance with a directive issued to it by SEC.

The Exchange noted that it had by a letter dated April 9, 2018 from SEC received a directive to lift the technical suspension placed on the trading of Oando's shares.

In October, SEC said it received two petitions about financial mismanagement by Oando that alleged that transactions were not conducted at arm's length and that there were discrepancies in its ownership structure.

"In order to ensure compliance with the Commission's further communication notwithstanding the fact that The Exchange's systems can not implement a technical suspension intraday, the Exchange suspended trading in Oando's shares".

In a statement SEC said that it directed the NSE to lift the technical suspension and allow market determination of the share price.

"In order to ensure compliance with the Commission's further communication notwithstanding the fact that The Exchange's systems can not implement a technical suspension intraday, the Exchange suspended trading in Oando's shares. The Exchange regrets any inconvenience that may have arisen due to the foregoing", the Exchange stated.

It later then said it had resolved the suspension issue in the interest of investors and that trading on Oando would resume on Thursday.

It is also important to note that Oando's stock was a major contributor to the NSE 30 Index's performance particularly in the first three quarters of the year 2017, prior to the suspension; thus, the relevance of the stock can not be over-emphasised.

The energy firm is now undergoing a forensic audit by external auditors.

The SEC has said a team of auditors, lawyers, stockbrokers and share registrars would conduct a forensic audit of Oando to ensure independence. "The Commission acted in the interest of shareholders and would continue to protect the interest of all the investors and other shareholders in the capital market", SEC stated.

The Commission assured that it would continue to update relevant stakeholders on the outcome of the forensic audit.

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