SEC stops Issuance of Dividend Warrants to Shareholders
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday directed all Registrars to stop issuing dividend paper warrants and also announced that it has ended the free registration for e-divided enrollment by shareholders.
The Commission now requires Investors/shareholders who are yet to enroll for the e-dividend to pay a token of N150 per investment to be able to continue with the registration.
Briefing the media in Abuja on the on-going capital market initiatives of the commission , Abdul Zubair, acting-Director General, SEC, said the stoppage of the issuance of dividend paper warrants will take effect from January 1 this year. However, paper warrants issued up till December 31,2017 are still valid and should be honoured by banks, he said.
A dividend warrant paper is issued in form of a cheque by a quoted company to its shareholders through which it pays dividends to them.
“In line with the approved approved rules of the Commission, all Registrars have been directed to stop the issuance of dividend paper warrants with effect from January 1, 2018.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all paper dividend warrants issued up till December 31, 2017 are valid and should be honoured. Banks and Registrars are accordingly implored to please note and adhere,” Zubair told the press.
He also said the that the e-dividend registration exeecise will continue seamlessly in spite of the expiration of the December 31st 2017 Free registration deadline.
It would be recalled that the e-dividend Free Registration expired on December 31, 2017.
Zubair said the free registration exercise has so far cost the SEC N315 million to underwrite the mandate of 2.1 million shareholders.
“Such investors should continue to approach their Banks or Registrars, as usual, to seamlessly mandate their Bank Accounts for the collection of their Dividends electronically, including unclaimed dividends, not exceeding 12 years of issue; as the N150 would not be demanded from them at the point of registration.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the N150 fee would not be demanded from the investors at the point of registration and/or submission of completed e-Dividend Mandate Forms.
Zubair also announced an extension of the Forbearance window for Multiple Accounts Consolidation to March 31, 2018.
According to him “With a view to encouraging many more investors to consolidate their multiple subscriptions into one account, the SEC wishes to announce an extension of the forbearance for Multiple Accounts till 31st March, 2018.
According to Zubair, “Investors that bought shares of the same company during public offers, using different names are allowed till 31st March, 2018 to continue to approach their Stockbrokers or Registrars,to regularise their shareholdings, in line with SEC on customer identification.
“Thereafter, all shares not regularised shall be transferred,on trust, to the Capital Market Development Fund.”
On the forensic audit of Oando, Zubair assured that the SEC would go with the planned probe as earlier announced.
“We gave a directive that the audit should go on and we still stand by that and no going back on the forensic audit, he stressed.
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja
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