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Published On: Mon, Aug 10th, 2015

Capital market: 128 stockbroking firms scale through recapitlisation hurdle

About 92 firms may not be able to meet the September 30, 2015 recapitalisation deadline, as stipulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to an investigation.
A SEC management source, who pleaded anonymity, said in Lagos that only 128 stockbroking firms out of the 220 active and registered stockbroking firms on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) met the capital requirement as of July.
He said that between 140 and 150 stockbroking firms would likely meet the recapitalisation requirement at the end of the exercise on September 30.
The source said that some of the stockbroking firms had commenced moves to reclassify their businesses, to avoid the commission’s hammer.
He also said that many workers would be thrown into the labour market if the companies failed to scale through or reclassify their businesses on time.
SEC recently in a circular directed all capital market operators proposing reclassification to notify the commission not later than July 31, 2015.
It said that the directive also applied to capital market operators opting for mergers, acquisitions or any other form of business combination.
The Director-General of SEC, Mr Mounir Gwarzo, said recently that the September 30 deadline for the new minimum capital for market operators would not be extended again.
Gwarzo said that the commission had no plans to extend the new deadline, stressing that it had come to stay.
SEC on December 19, 2013 issued a new capital requirement for capital market operators with December 31, 2014 as deadline for operators to recapitalise.
The deadline was, however, extended to September 30, 2015 by the commission in December 2014 following pressure and protests by some stockbrokers.
The apex capital market regulator increased the minimum capital base for brokers/dealers by 329 percent from the existing N70 million to N300 million.
A broker, who currently operates with a capital base of N40 million, will now be required to have N200 million, representing an increase of 400 percent.
The minimum capital base for dealers increased by 233 percent from N30 million to N100 million. (NAN)

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