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SEC probes BGL again over N2.9b funds

In from Success Allantee….

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria’s apex capital market regulator, has started a new round of investigation into the operations of capital market group-BGL Group Plc, following new complaints filed by 10 investors involving more than N2.9 billion.

SEC stated that it has invited two companies under the BGL Group-BGL Securities Limited and BGL Assets Management Limited and their sponsored individuals to appear before SEC’s Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC).

The APC is the adjudicatory organ of SEC and it adjudicates on market disputes. Decisions of the APC could be appealed to the governing board of SEC and the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST).

SEC stated that the invitation was sequel to “the receipt of 10 new complaints, with total monetary value of over N2.9 billion against them, received between 20th May, 2015 and 10th November 2015 from various investors”.

According to the Commission, the investors had alleged that the two companies severally violated the Investments and Securities Act 2007, SEC Rules and Regulations as well as the Code of Conduct for Capital Market Operators.

Specifically, the companies were alleged to have engaged in capital market function without due registration, promotion and marketing of products not registered by the Commission, failure and refusal to resolve clients’ complaints, failure to file statutory returns and furnishing the Commission with false and misleading information.

“The respondents have been duly notified of their invitation to appear before the SEC APC and have been asked to file their defense ahead of the hearing. The hearings are slated to hold on Wednesday 3rd February, 2016 during which the respondents would be given fair-hearing on each of the allegations,” the Commission said.

It should be recalled that SEC had in April 2015 intervened in the operations of BGL Group Plc, suspended its board and set up an interim management board for the group following complaints from some 30 investors alleging mismanagement of their funds. In May 2015, on the basis of the investigation report, SEC suspended BGL Asset Management Limited, BGL Capital Limited and BGL Securities Limited from all capital market activities. The Commission also directed that all major officials and sponsored individuals of BGL Asset Management Limited, BGL Capital Limited and BGL Securities Limited whose particulars are contained in the Commission’s record as at December 2014 be suspended from performing any capital market activity.

The Commission also said it referred “suspicious transactions” observed in the course of the investigation to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for further investigation.

BGL Asset Management Limited, BGL Capital Limited and BGL Securities Limited and all individuals involved in the management of the companies were referred to the APC in August 2015 for further trial.

However, SEC had to postpone its hearing on the complaints leveled against BGL Plc following a Federal High Court order which directed the apex capital market regulator not to take any further action on the case.

BGL Plc is quoted on the NASD Plc, the over-the-counter (OTC) market for the trading of shares and securities of unlisted public limited liability companies. Founded in 1993 and formerly known as Banc Garanti Limited, BGL Plc commenced business as a bank holding company with the aim of acquiring distressed or underperforming institutions in the banking sector.

It quickly built up a large portfolio of assets and earned reputation as one of the most influential investment banking firms in Nigeria. BGL Securities is the stockbroking arm of the group and it is a major dealing member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. It is ranked variously as one of the top 20 stockbroking firms at the stock market.

BGL Asset Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of BGL Plc, was incorporated in April 2007 and it deals primarily as the asset management arm of the group. BGL Capital, another wholly owned subsidiary, has been a major player in the wholesale finance and mergers and acquisition industry.

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Ripples Nigeria

We are an online newspaper, very passionate about Nigerian politics, business and their leaders. We dig deeper, without borders and without fears.
www.ripplesnigeria.com

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