By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
The Nigerian Stock Exchange said trading in the stock of Nigeria’s biggest energy company, Oando, will resume on Thursday, without any further impediment.
The NSE made the clarification on its website following the confusion during trading today, when the suspension of trading in Oando’s shares was lifted in the morning, only to be embargoed later in the day.
NSE in initially lifting the suspension said it was based on a directive by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which had placed a technical suspension on the stock in October last year.
Midway into trading, when the stock had soared by 10 per cent from N5.99 to N6.99, the NSE stopped trading in the stock, triggering confusion in the market and calls by traders for clarification.
The NSE now said trading will 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”.
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.
It said that 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.
The statement said that SEC would update relevant stakeholders on the outcome of the forensic audit.
Commenting on the issue, Mr Ambrose Omorodion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd described the actions of the two regulators as unprofessional.
Omorodion said that SEC and NSE needed to correct the impression on time in order not to dampen investors confidence.
“If this impression is not corrected on time, investing public confidence on the regulators will start dwindling which will not be good for the market.
The regulators are expected to have done their due diligence before given any directive”, he said.
NAN reports that Concerned Shareholders of Oando Plc on April 10 urged Federal Government to prevail on NSE and SEC to lift the technical suspension placed on the shares of the company without any further delay.