For failing to file their audited and interim financial accounts after the regulatory due date in 2022, the NGX Regulation Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) has slammed a fine of N35.82 million on Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Wema Bank and 16 other companies trading on its platform.
The companies were sanctioned during the financial year 2022 for their inability to meet the regulatory requirements between third quarter (Q3) 2022 and the full year (FY) of 2022.
According to the X-compliance report obtained from the NGX’s website, the companies that defaulted include; Access Holdings Plc, which got a fine of N2 million, Abbey Mortgage Bank fined N1.4 million, Caverton which was slammed N3.9 million. Others include Champion Breweries Plc N1.6 million, Daar Communications N1.7 million while ETI was fined N3.2 million for failing its third quarter (Q3) financial results.
For audited financial statement, Fidelity Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Holdings Plc, Glaxosmithkline Consumer Nigeria Plc, Industrial Medical and Gases Nigeria, Jaiz Bank, John Holt Plc, Juli Plc, Notore Chemical Industries Plc, NPF Microfinance Bank, PZ Cussons Plc and Regency Alliance Insurance Plc were fined N2.7 million; N1.4 million; N1.3 million; N1.2 million; N600,000; N3.2 million; N120,000; N500,000; N1.8 million; N4.8 million; N1.4 million respectively.
The Exchange in its X-Compliance report explained that the initiative was designed to maintain market integrity and protect the investors by providing compliance-related information on all listed companies.
The report stated that “companies that are listed on the Exchange are required to adhere to high disclosure standards which are prescribed in Appendix 111 of the Listing Rules.
“Financial information which is periodic disclosure and on-going material events disclosure should be released to The Exchange in a timely manner to enable it efficiently perform its function of maintaining an orderly market”, it said.
The NGX REGCO revealed that it applied the sanctions in accordance with the Rules for Filing of Accounts and Treatment of Default Filing, Rulebook of NGX (issuers’ rules). Reacting to the development, market operators agreed that the sanctions were warranted, saying, such sanctions would compel more quoted entities to disclose their information to the market on a timely basis.
The Managing Director of Crane Securities Limited, Mike Eze, said, the action of NGX would also boost investor confidence in the market because it is sending a clear message on the need for investors to get companies’ financial reports as at when due. He added that investors always need to make informed decisions about which stocks to buy and that they can only be able to do that if companies release their regulatory filings on time.
The founder of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu, also agreed that the companies deserved to be sanctioned.
Nwosu noted that the affected companies ought to have filed their earnings reports on time to help shareholders to understand their financial health for investment decisions.