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NSE denies knowledge of Afroil, Capital Oil suspension


March 21, 2008/ Punch


The Nigerian Stock Exchange has said it is not aware of the indefinite suspension placed on trading in the shares of Afroil Plc and Capital Oil Plc by the Securities and Exchange Commission.


The Principal Manager, Corporate Affairs, NSE, Mr. Shola Oni, said on Thursday that the NSE was yet to receive any information from SEC on the suspension of the shares of the two oil companies.


Oni said, “We read the story on the pages of the newspapers just like every other person and I think that will not be the best for the system. The relationship between the stock exchange and SEC has always been cordial, but there should always be due process.”SEC had, on Wednesday, announced an indefinite suspension of trading in the shares of Afroil and Capital Oil on the NSE. The commission said the decision was a fallout of an investigation into the activities of six companies, announced on February 15, 2008.


According to the commission, the two companies were involved in insider dealings.


The commission had declared that the basis for the continued trading and rise in the prices of the shares on the exchange, no longer existed, adding that the decision was to protect stock market investors.


Prior to the commencement of the investigation, the Director-General, NSE, Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, had flayed SEC for not informing the Exchange about the activity.


Our correspondent gathered that, despite the suspension, there was still trading in the shares of the companies.


Some stock brokers said that the shares of the companies were, largely, in offer on Thursday as investors were apprehensive over the announcement.


The stock brokers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, berated SEC for not informing the NSE before carrying out any activity on the Exchange.


According to them, the perceived unhealthy relationship between both organisations can create tension in the capital market.


“We all agree that SEC is the regulator of the capital market, but there should be due process in everything. The commission has to understand that the NSE, to an extent, is also a regulatory body.


Without the stock exchange, I don’t think there will be anything for SEC to regulate,” a stockbroker said.


At the end of trading on Thursday, Afroil, which sold at N24.13, traded 4,424,117million shares, valued at N106.754m in 342 deals.For capital oil, 3.414 million shares worth N55.006m were traded in 144 transactions. It sold at N16.11

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