ISB To Ensure Internationally Competitive, Well-functioning Capital Market, Says SEC

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said that the passage of the Investments snd Securities Bill 2022 would aid the functioning of the capital market as well as facilitate the on-going economic diversification in the country.

This was stated by the Director General of the SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda during the Public Hearing on the ISB 2022 and the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers Bill 2022 in Abuja.

Yuguda emphasised that the passage and enactment of the Bill will be a pivotal step in revamping the economy and therefore enjoins and appeals for the buy-in of key stakeholders to make this aspiration a reality.

Speaking on some highlights of the major innovations and changes in the Bill, Yuguda disclosed that the Bill expands the categories of issuers, as a key step towards the introduction of new innovations and offerings such as crowd-funding as well as the facilitation of “commercial and investment business activities”, subject to the approval of the Commission and other controls stipulated in the Bill.

“The Bill expands the definition of a Collective Investment Scheme to include schemes offered privately to qualified investors. Minor reviews on various Sections of the extant law have been carried to provide greater clarity.

Importantly, the Bill introduces an express prohibition of Ponzi/Pyramid Schemes as well as other illegal investment schemes. The Bill also prescribes a jail term of not less than 10 years for promoters of such schemes.

“This Bill contains an entirely new Part which provides for the regulation of Commodity Exchanges and Warehouse Receipts. These provisions are essential to allow for the development of the entire gamut of the Commodities ecosystem” he stated.

Yuguda also said that a recommendation is made in the Bill for the inclusion of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) on the SEC Board for increased collaboration between the two agencies, particularly to encourage greater investment of pension funds and in capital market products/instruments.

Also, according to the SEC DG, a new part on the management of systemic risk has been introduced covering the following themes: monitoring, management and mitigation of systemic risk in the Nigerian capital market; arrangements with other regulators relating to information required from entities that are regulated by other regulators; sharing of information between financial sector regulatory authorities or government agencies; and use of a legal entity identifier to provide for proper monitoring of systemic risks.

“Securities Exchanges are now classified into Composite Exchanges and Non-composite Exchanges. A Composite Exchange is one in which all categories of securities and products can be listed and traded, while a Non-composite Exchange focuses on a singular type of security or product.

“Furthermore, the duties/responsibilities of Exchanges have been expanded and the conditions for revocation of registration are clearly stated. There are also new provisions on Financial Market Infrastructures such as Central Counter Parties, Clearing Houses, Trade Depositories etc” he added.

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