The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has embarked on a number of initiatives to address time to market and promote ease of doing business.
This was stated by the Acting Executive Commissioner Operations, Mr. Isyaku Tilde, during a meeting with issuers in Lagos recently.
He stated that the aim of the engagement was to obtain the view of the Issues on transaction costs and time to market to aid the Commission in understanding what steps to take to improve the process adding that the Commission was looking to automate its processes.
Tilde said the Commission has introduced the initiatives in the capital market because it is committed to the Present administration’s ideals of promoting the ease of doing business.
These initiatives Tilde said, includes the introduction of a framework to facilitate electronic offerings of securities; the checklist review regime which minimises the time spent reviewing transaction documents and which is expected to facilitate the introduction of the deemed approval regime; the introduction of an option to the filing of fourth quarter returns subject to filing the financial statements within two months of the end of the financial year; and Rules in respect of gift distributions at General Meeting and prohibition of meetings with select investors before a General Meeting.
According to him, “we also have other initiatives like the ongoing review of the code of conduct for shareholders’ associations, all these are geared towards ensuring that we address the issue of time to market. There is also ongoing engagement with the exchanges on addressing the issue of ease of doing business and minimising duplication of efforts with the regulator and the Exchange in a bid to reduce time to market”.
Tilde confirmed the ongoing engagements with PENCOM, CBN and other agencies on several issues including margin loans, especially now that the finance act has provided tax incentives for security lending.
He further explained that, “The Commission has its input into the macro-economic policy and also held a budget seminar which determines how the capital market can play a role in financing the budget; The Commission is part of the FSRCC (Financial Services Regulation Coordination Committee) which discusses relating to the stability of the financial market and the economy”.
On Sustainability he said the Commission has developed a framework for the capital market which listed companies and market operators are expected to comply with which is principle based and not rule based and therefore requires disclosures.