SEC Extends E-dividend Free Registration

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has extended period for the free e-dividend registration to Feb. 28, to encourage more shareholders participation in the initiative.

The commission in a statement obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria indicated that the extension was part of its developmental role.

It said that the extension became necessary to encourage more shareholders mandate their bank accounts.

The statement said in reviewing the progress of the e-Dividend Registration after the Dec. 31, 2017 deadline, there was still a great influx of shareholders desirous of mandating their Bank accounts for payment of dividends electronically.

“In light of the foregoing, the SEC, as part of its developmental role, has extended the period for the FREE e-Dividend registration till Feb. 28, 2018, to encourage more shareholders mandate their bank accounts.

“Accordingly, shareholders that are yet to register should continue to approach their Banks or Registrars to mandate their Bank Accounts for the collection of their Dividends electronically, including unclaimed dividends, not exceeding 12 years of issue,” it said.

NAN recalls that the SEC had announced that the e-dividend registration would continue seamlessly in spite of the expiration of the initial Dec. 31 2017 free registration deadline with a fee of N150.

Acting Director-General of SEC, Dr Abdul Zubair, who made the announcement at a news conference recently, said that all investors that had yet to enrol are enjoined to continue with the registration.

“Such 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.’’

Zubair also announced an extension of the forbearance window for multiple accounts consolidation to March 31.

This he said was to “encourage many more investors to consolidate their multiple subscriptions into one account, the SEC wishes to announce an extension of the forbearance for Multiple Accounts till March 31, 2018.

“Accordingly, investors that bought shares of the same company during public offers, using different names, are allowed till March 31, 2018 to continue to approach their stockbrokers or registrars, to regularise their shareholdings in line with SEC rules on customer identification.

“Thereafter, all shares NOT regularised shall be transferred, on trust to the Capital Market Development Fund”.

He said that in line with approved rules of the commission, all registrars had been directed to stop the issuance of dividend paper warrants with effect from Jan. 1, 2018.

He said that for the avoidance of doubt, all paper dividend warrants issued up till Dec. 31, 2017, were valid and should be honoured.

Zubair said that banks and registrars were accordingly implored to note and adhere.

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