The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has suspended Heritage Capital Markets Limited and its directors as well as sponsored individuals over the alleged unauthorised sale of shares belonging to an investor and the company refusal to comply with the commission directives over the matter.
SEC therefore warned the general public that the suspension was indefinite. It said, according to the statement from SEC The general public is hereby informed that the suspension is indefinite and shall remain in force pending the resolution of the matter against the operator.
In another development, the apex regulator in the capital market said its attention had been drawn to a circular issued by a regulatory institution directing some persons to register as dealing members with the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, an Exchange registered by the commission.
Section 38 of the Investment and Securities Act 2007, according to the commission, provides that no person shall operate in the Nigerian capital market as an expert or professional or in any other capacity as may be determined by the commission; or carry on investments and securities business unless the person is registered in accordance with the Act and the rules and regulations made there under.
Furthermore, it added that Section 315 of the Investment and Securities Act, 2007 defines a dealing member as a body corporate which is a member of a recognised Securities Exchange and is licensed to engage in dealing in securities on that Exchange. SEC insisted, By the above provisions of the law, only dealing members registered by the commission are permitted to engage in capital market activities in the Nigerian capital market.
Consequently, SEC as the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market wishes to state as follow: By virtue of Section 13 (g) of the ISA, the commission is responsible for the registration of all corporate and individual market operators; Only persons registered by the commission are permitted to operate in the Nigerian capital market and as such, on all platforms registered by it.
The commission would not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against any person found to be in violation of the provisions of the ISA 2007 and the rules and regulations made pursuant thereto. While the commission remains supportive of initiatives geared towards advancing the Nigeria capital market, such initiatives must confine to the prevailing legislative regime.