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Published On: Thu, Apr 12th, 2018

6.4m Oando shares sold at the exchange

Oando shares rose from N5.90k to N6.60 at today’s trading session at the Nigerian bourse, after the technical suspension was lifted fully by the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Oando shares now back from technical suspension

About 6.4 million units of the shares of the Nigerian energy conglomerate were exchanged at a value of N42.7million, according to the NSE.

Ayotola Jagun, Oando’s Chief Compliance Officer & Company Secretary, said the lifting of the technical suspension by the regulator is good news for the Company and all its shareholders and will restore and boost investor confidence in the market.

“In addition, the forensic audit into the affairs of the Company is currently underway by Deloitte Nigeria (Deloitte), the SEC appointed forensic team lead.

“To date the Company has been fully cooperative with both the SEC and Deloitte. In the spirit of goodwill, transparency and full disclosure, we will continue to cooperate with the SEC and its nominated parties in the discharge of their duties as the Capital Markets regulator during this exercise.

`”We are hopeful that the forensic audit will have limited impact on the day-to-day operations of the business and we look forward to a swift and smooth conclusion by the SEC.”

The company meanwhile said it will file its audited accounts for 2017 in May. It was approved by the company’s board on 10 April.

Controversy had dogged the return of the company’s shares from technical suspension, after the NSE created confusion, by first announcing the lifting of the suspension and later countermanding it, saying it got contradictory instruction from the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC).

SEC had slammed technical suspension on the shares, following petitions by some shareholders on share ownership dispute, governance issues and litigations. SEC also ordered a forensic audit of the company.

SEC on 9 April wrote NSE to allow the firm to return to the market, with most of the issues having been resolved.

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

It said that the shares of Oando were placed on technical suspension in October 2017 upon the announcement of forensic audit which aimed to protect investors as a short term measure.

“Suspensions are typically intended for a short period to ensure market stability and thereafter lifted to allow market dictates.

However, the suspension of the shares of Oando plc was prolonged due to several litigations by Oando and other shareholders contesting the propriety of the forensic audit and technical suspension.

“All litigations have now been withdrawn, the independent forensic audit by Deloitte is ongoing and the primary result is expected”, said the statement.

NSE in initially lifting the suspension said it was based on a directive by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The bizarre however happened when midway into trading, NSE stopped trading in the stock, triggering confusion in the market and calls by traders for clarification.

The NSE on Wednesday night announced that trading would continue on Thursday, following consultation with SEC.

In a notice on its website, the Exchange said: “Subsequent to the lifting of the technical suspension, on 11 April 2018, the Exchange received another communication from the Commission to maintain the status quo prior to the Commission’s letter of 9 April 2018, i.e., the technical suspension of trading in Oando’s shares.

“In order to ensure compliance with the Commission’s further communication notwithstanding the fact that The Exchange’s systems cannot 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.

“In the overall interest of investors in Nigeria’s capital markets, and following consultation with the Commission please be advised that at the start of trading tomorrow, 12 April 2018, trading in Oando’s shares will resume without any impediment in price movement consistent with the NSE’s market structure.

“The Exchange shall endeavour to keep the investing public and the entire capital market ecosystem informed should there be any further developments on this matter”.

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