Tuesday, January 14, 2020 / 01.57PM
/ By Jillian Ambrose Energy correspondent of
TheGuardian / Header Image Credit:
Lekoil, a London-listed Nigerian company has had its shares suspended after revealing alleged scam relating to a $600,000 it gave as consultancy to a company that promised to help arrange loan from Qatari Investment Authority (QIA).
A small Nigerian oil company listed on the AIM - London Stock Exchange has revealed an alleged scam after handing over $600,000 to a consultancy which had promised to help to arrange a loan from the Qatari Investment Authority.
Lekoil had already revealed the $184m (Euro 142m) loan agreement to its investors earlier this month, when representatives from the Qatari fund approached the oil minnow over the weekend to question "the validity" of the deal.
Shares in the Nigeria-based company were immediately pulled from the London's junior AIM market while lawyers from Lekoil sought to find the "full facts of this matter".
Lekoil paid an initial arrangement fee of $600,000 to Seawave Invest, which is registered in the Bahamas, for introducing Lekoil's advisers to individuals "purporting to be from the QIA" to discuss the loan.
Lekoil said it "will be contacting the relevant authorities across a number of jurisdictions without delay" to report "what appears to be an attempt to defraud" the company.
A spokeswoman for Seawave did not respond to a request for comment.
Lekoil will set up an investigation committee spearheaded by its new non-executive directors Mark Simmonds, a former minister in David Cameron's government, and Tony Hawkins, the chief executive of Columbus Energy Resources, who joined Lekoil's board just days after the loan was agreed.
"While Lekoil will take all reasonable actions to recover the fees paid to Seawave, there can be no guarantee that such attempts will be successful," the company added.
The total loan fees, payable to Seawave and the QIA, were expected to reach almost $10m, leaving just over $173m within the loan facility to fund Lekoil's plans for an oil exploration campaign at the Oga field off the Nigerian coast, where it owns a 40% stake alongside Optimum Petroleum, a local Nigerian firm.
The post Nigerian oil firm's shares suspended after revealing alleged scam first appeared in The Guardian UK on Monday, January 13, 2020. You can support the Guardian's journalism with a contribution of any size by clicking HERE
Additional Comments from the Managing Editor, Proshare:
Findings from the market revealed that stockbrokers and other market operators are adopting a wait and see approach to the issue as CEOs of two brokerage houses spoken to said a few companies raising instruments have preferred the local market for two reasons:
1. Market liquidity has increased and rates (costs) fallen. Instruments like T-bills offer 5% return and commercial papers of companies with good reputation are priced at an interest rate cost of between 10% and 11.5%.
2. Lower domestic cost of funds has been supported by exchange rate stability and are devoid of exchange rate translation risks.
We await further developments.
Chart: Lekoil Limited
Source: AIM - London Stock Exchange
Regulatory News on Lekoil Limited on AIM - London Stock Exchange
Related to Lekoil
1. Nigerian Oil Firm's Shares Suspended After Revealing Alleged Scam - The Guardian - Jan 13, 2020
2. LEKOIL Makes Progress Offshore Nigeria - Sep 05, 2019
3. Optimum and Lekoil agree to advance with Nigerian block - Sep 02, 2019
4. Lekoil to acquire 45% stake in Nigerian onshore licence from Newcross - Aug 23, 2019
5. Lekoil aims to grow production, posts $7.8m loss - Jun 23, 2019
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