Trading On NSE: SEC Approves New Rules 

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Wednesday said it has received the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to some rules and amendments of existing ones aimed at making trading on the stock exchange more efficient.

In a notification placed on its website, the NSE listed the rules to include: Rules on securities transactions between dealing members of the NSE, which will become effective June 3; Rules for listing on the Growth Board of the NSE, to be effective June 17; Rules governing free float requirements for issuers listed on the NSE, effective June 3; Rules on price stabilisation of securities, effective July 15 and Rules on release calendar for regulatory announcements and filings of listed companies, effective September 2, 2019. According to the NSE, all the rules were approved by SEC on May 6, 2019.

According to rule, free float means the number of shares that an issuer has outstanding and available to be traded on the exchange.

“ It includes all shares held by the investing public, and excludes shares held directly or indirectly by promoters, directors and their close relatives; strategic investors holding five per cent and above of the issued share capital or government,” it said.

The rule states that for any issuer seeking to list on the Premium Board, its free float shall be: (a) 20 of the Issuer’s issued share capital made available to the public and held by not less than three hundred (300) shareholders; or (b) valued at N40 billion or more, or any value prescribed by the exchange from time to time, on the date The exchange receives the issuer’s application to list.

For issuer seeking listing on the Main Board, its free float must be 20 per cent of shares held by not less than 300 shareholders or valued at N20 billion or more, or any value prescribed by the exchange from time to time, on the date the exchange receives the Issuer’s application to list.

For Alternative Securities Market (ASeM) Board, free float shall be 15 per cent of the shares and held by not less than 51 shareholders valued at N50 million.

The rule provides that the exchange may grant extension of time to an Issuer to comply with the minimum free float requirements if: it believes that the market can operate fairly and in an orderly manner with the issuer’s existing level of free float.

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