SEC To Support ASHON on Proposed Lagos Commodity Exchange

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The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo has restated the commission resolve to promote the development of Commodity Exchanges in the country. Speaking when he received the New Exco of the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) on a courtesy call at the commission in Abuja, the Director General said the commission was willing to support the Lagos Commodities & Futures Exchange being mid-wived ASHON.

On the suspension of some of their members by the NSE & SEC on account of deficiency in Minimum Operating Standard (MOS) compliance as well as diminution in value of minimum capital requirement, the DG insisted on a three months grace period, aligning with their agreement that stock brokers carry equities in their balance sheet and prices of equities have gone down thus affecting their capital the DG insisted on a 3 months grace period.

ASHON through its Chairman, Patrick Ezeagu had solicited for the possibility of increasing the grace period to 6 months to recapitalize or reclassify. The Group also noted with concern the proposed amendment of Rule 56(1) Function of Brokers (Harmonization of Registration requirement for incidental functions).

The development will preclude brokers from providing Investment advice to their clients/Public. ASHON, while acknowledging not knowing the thinking behind the proposed amendment, solicited for the reconsideration of the proposal. The call is based on the backdrop of the so called value addition provided by brokers/dealers in providing investment advice to their clients.

They argued that a lot of stock broking houses had well established research desks that not only help to broadcast market information on a continuous basis but also carry out in-depth analysis and provide opinions to complex financial issues to their clients. The Association also expressed their dismay on the Federal Government sole reliance and emphasis on monetary policy for macroeconomic management to the detriment of the capital market. The association accepted to look at the Investment and Securities Tribunal funding proposal being championed by SEC and NSE.

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