Investors on the equities of 17 companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, would not be able to trade or do any business with their stocks, as the stock market authority has suspended them till further notice.
The sanctions were imposed on the companies for failure to comply with the regulatory provisions of the law on corporate governance and extant post-listing guidelines.
The affected companies include African Alliance Insurance, Equity Assurance, Fortis Microfinance Bank, Guinea Insurance, Premier Paints, Resort Savings & Loans, Sovereign Trust Insurance, African Paints (Nigeria), Aso Savings & Loans, Ekocorp, Evans Medical, Goldlink Insurance, Great Nigeria Insurance, Omatek Ventures, Union Dicon Salt, Union Homes Savings & Loans and Universal Insurance Company.
The NSE said the companies failed to file their annual financial accounts and operational reports in line with the requirements in the listing rules at the Exchange.
The stock market authority said in a statement that the sanction would subsist till the companies comply with the demands of the guidelines.
As part of the post-listing regulations, quoted companies are expected to submit their audited financial statements not later than 90 days, or three calendar months with the Exchange.
They are also required to submit interim reports of their operations not later than 30 calendar days after the end of the relevant period.
Most of the quoted companies, including commercial banks, oil and gas companies, manufacturing firms, have since complied, filing the relevant documents on or before March 31 of the year.
On January 1, the NSE reminded quoted companies of the importance of complying with the regulation, warning that fines would be imposed on companies that fail to meet the deadline for the filing of their reports.
The exchange said new sanctions for delays in compliance would include fines ranging from N100, 000 to over N100 million.
With the suspension, investors in the affected companies would not be able to trade on their shares, including raising funds using such investments as collateral if the need arise.
Other companies that also delayed their financial statements and accounts risk possible suspension and delisting, apart from fines.