Authorities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) have placed 62 companies under caveat with various tags, drawing investors’ attention to underlying inadequacies in their operations.
In a report by NSE showing the list of companies marked out for corporate governance issues indicated that the 62 firms have subsisting deficiencies, representing about 35 per cent of the 178 companies listed on the three tiers of the Exchange.
Several high-profile companies in the banking, oil and gas, consumer goods, insurance, construction and services sectors, among others,were among the stocks placed under the corporate governance watchlist of the Exchange.
Eleven companies with free float deficiencies, thus susceptible easily to price manipulations, were flagged as below listing standard. These included Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN), Capital Hotel, Great Nigerian Insurance, Chellarams, Nigerian Ropes, AG Leventis Nigeria, Interlinked Technology, Infinity Trust Mortgage, Transcorp Hotels, Caverton Offshore Support Group and African Paints.
Also, a group of seven stocks with persistent records of poor corporate governance compliance were categorised as delinquent, in relation to their records of missing regulatory filing deadline. These companies included Omatek Ventures, Roads Nigeria, Multi-Trex Integrated Foods, Aso Savings & Loans, Ekocorp, Ikeja Hotel and Union Homes and Savings Plc.
Besides, 10 companies are undergoing delisting, including Costain (WA), Deap Capital Management, Evans Medical, International Energy Insurance, Lennards (Nigeria), PS Mandrides & Company, Premier Breweries, Navitus Energy, MTI, Mtech and Nigerian Ropes. Companies under this group have already been served with all regulatory processes for delisting and their delisting have been approved by the national council of the Exchange.
Not fewer than 12 companies are also under the watch list and had been given timelines for restructuring of their operations. These included Afrik Pharmaceuticals, Union Dicon Salt, Anino International, African Paints, Goldlink Insurance, UTC Nigeria, Thomas Wyatt Nigeria, Nigerian German Chemicals, Golden Guinea Breweries, FTN Cocoa Processors, Beco Petroleum and Unic Insurance.
The report also flagged eight banking, mortgage and insurance companies, which results are undergoing the scrutiny of the financial services regulators. These included four banks-Zenith Bank International, United Bank for Africa, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc; three insurance companies-Mutual Benefits Assurance, Linkage Assurance and Guinea Insurance and a mortgage firm, Resort savings and Loans.
Other tagged companies included African Alliance Insurance Company, Austin Laz & Company, Beco Petroleum Product, Conoil, Daar Communications, E-Tranzact International, Fortis Microfinance Bank, MRS Oil Nigeria and Skye Bank.
The report highlighted the Compliance Status Indicator (CSI) of the quoted companies on the NSE, an initiative aimed at forewarning investors about the status of a particular company in order to ensure investors act with full information and understanding of the inherent risks.
Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) General Counsel and Head of Regulation, Ms. Tinuade Awe, had explained that the enhanced tagging was part of efforts to further improve market transparency and integrity by providing timely information for investment decisions as well as enhance the protection of investors in the capital market.
“This initiative of the Exchange which is in line with global best practices, is designed to maintain market integrity and protect the investors,” Awe said.