Barely three hours after lifting technical suspension on the shares of Oando, authorities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) have reinstated the technical suspension, throwing the stock market into confusion.
While Oando had been released from the technical suspension by the opening of the market at 10.30am and it started a rally that saw it rising to N6.60 per share, the Exchange surreptitiously reversed the lifting of the technical suspension.
All the initial deals struck on the Oando shares were also cancelled.
Market sources told Ripples Nigeria that the reversal of the lifting of technical suspension was at the instance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which had earlier issued a directive for the lifting of the technical suspension.
Market sources described the contradictory display by SEC and NSE as unfortunate noting that this underscored the vested interests that have dogged the Oando investigation.
A market source said both NSE and SEC owe the investing public explanation on what he described as a mockery of the integrity of the market.
Ripples Nigeria had earlier reported the lifting of technical suspension on Oando. The lifting of the technical suspension had taken effect as the market opened today April 11, 2018. In early hours of trading after the lifting of the technical suspension at the reopening of the market by 10.30am, Oando was already on bid with demand for more than 100 million shares. The oil and gas company’s share price has risen to N6.60 per share.
Ripples Nigeria gathered that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had on Monday April 9, 2018 directed the Exchange to lift the technical suspension on the shares of Oando.
“On receipt of the Commission’s directive, the Exchange put the process in place to lift the technical suspension, including testing on its trading system,” a circular on the lifting of the suspension cited by Ripples Nigeria stated.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) had in October 2017 placed the shares of Oando on suspension, following a directive from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which had launched investigations into petitions against the management of the company.
A group of concerned shareholders of Oando had on Tuesday April 10, 2018 urged Nigerian capital market authorities to lift the technical suspension placed on the shares of Oando Plc.
At a press briefing in Lagos, shareholders said the continued suspension of Oando shares was sending wrong signals to the global community about the seriousness of the Federal Government in attracting foreign direct investments to bolster the economy.
It should be recalled that the investigation into two petitions by shareholders of Oando and the decision of SEC to conduct forensic audit on Oando was at the centre of the suspension of the Director General of SEC, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun. Gwarzo had alleged that the Minister directed him to halt the forensic audit, a directive that he turned down in order to protect the integrity of the market.
Adeosun has denied the allegation, saying Gwarzo was suspended because of allegations of untoward practices against him.
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