BY MARK ITSIBOR, Abuja And OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
…Extends forbearance for multiple accounts consolidation
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday said registration of electronic dividends continues beyond the December deadline, but at a marginal cost of N150.
It would be recalled that the e-dividend Free Registration expired on December 31 2017. “However,” acting Director General of SEC, Mr. Abdul Zubair said, “all Investors that are yet to enroll, are enjoined to continue with the registration exercise, at a marginal cost of N150 (one hundred and fifty Naira) only.” He made the announcement yesterday while updating journalists on the on-going initiatives by SEC in Abuja.
2.1 million Investors have been registered under the e-dividend registration, SEC’s Director, external relations, Henry Adekunle Roland said.
The DG said investors should continue to approach their Banks or Registrars, as usual, to seamlessly mandate their Bank Accounts for the collection of their Dividends electronically, including unclaimed dividends, not exceeding 12 years of issue; as the N150 would not be demanded from them at the point of registration. “For the avoidance of doubt, the N150 fee would not be demanded from investors at the point of registration and/or submission of completed e-Dividend Mandate Forms, he said.
“With effect from January 1, the LCC will no longer underwrite the N150 processing fee for enrolment of individuals. LCC is the lead initiator of the idea,” Roland added.
He announced that the enrolment exercise is a lifetime registration because it is the investment of individual, adding that the time for him or her to enroll cannot expire. The window is open to the individual. Even when he dies, his children still take it up.
Meanwhile, with a view to encouraging many more investors to consolidate their multiple subscriptions into one account, the SEC also announced an extension of the forbearance for Multiple Accounts till 31st March, 2018.
According to Mr. Zubair, investors that bought shares of the same company during public offers, using different names, are allowed till 31st March, 2018 to continue to approach their Stockbrokers or Registrars, to regularize their shareholdings, in line with SEC Rules on customer identification. Thereafter, all shares not regularized shall be transferred, on trust, to the Capital Market Development Fund.
On the other hand, the Commission also said in line with approved rules, all Registrars have been directed to stop the issuance of dividend paper warrants with effect from January 1, 2018.
The acting DG said for the avoidance of doubt, all paper dividend warrants issued up till December 31, 2017 are valid and should be honoured. Banks and Registrars are accordingly implored to please note and adhere.