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New initiatives will reduce time to market –SEC

New initiatives will reduce time to market –SECThe Securities and Exchange Commission has said the number of initiatives it embarked upon to address time to market will promote ease of doing business.

The acting Executive Commissioner Operations, Mr Isyaku Tilde, stated this at a meeting with issuers in Lagos, on Thursday.

He said the aim of the engagement was to get the view of the issuers on transaction costs and time to market to aid the commission in understanding the steps to take to improve the process.

He said the commission was looking to automate its processes, adding that it was committed to the present administration’s ideals of promoting the ease of doing business.

According to him, the initiatives include the introduction of a framework to facilitate electronic offerings of securities; and the checklist review regime, which minimises the time spent reviewing transaction documents and is expected to facilitate the introduction of the deemed approval regime.

He said SEC also introduced an option to the filing of fourth quarter returns, subject to filing the financial statements within two months of the end of the financial year; and rules in respect of gift distributions at Annual General Meeting and prohibition of meetings with select investors before an AGM.

He said, “We also have other initiatives like the ongoing review of the code of conduct for shareholders’ associations. All these are geared towards ensuring that we address the issue of time to market.

“There is also an ongoing engagement with the exchanges on addressing the issue of ease of doing business and minimising duplication of efforts with the regulator and the exchanges in a bid to reduce time to market.”

Tilde said engagements were underway with the National Pension Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria and other agencies on several issues including margin loans, especially with the provision of tax incentives for security lending by the Finance Act.

“The commission has its input in the macro-economic policy, and also held a budget seminar, which determines how the capital market can play a role in financing the budget. The commission is part of the Financial Services Regulation Coordination Committee, which discusses relating to the stability of the financial market and the economy,” he added.

On sustainability, he said the commission had developed a framework for the capital market that must be complied with by listed companies and market operators.

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