The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday delisted Skye Bank Plc and Fortis Microfinance Bank Plc following permission from the National Council of the exchange. In publicity to market operators, the NSE announced the delisting which was agreeable to Clause 15 of the General Undertaking, Appendix 111 of the Rule Book of the exchange, was as an effect of the revocation of their operating licences by their primary regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The CBN had in September 2018 revoked the operating licence of Skye Bank as well as approved its take-over by Polaris Bank Plc. On the other hand, Fortis Microfinance Bank, which was licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2007 and listed on the NSE in 2012, had its shares suspended from being traded on the floor of the exchange for failing to adhere to standard corporate governance and extant post-listing requirements that make it mandatory for quoted companies to submit their financial statements within stipulated timelines. Fortis Microfinance Bank was also grappling with protracted governance crisis and internal breakdown of management controls which ultimately led to the resignation of its interim Managing Director, Mrs Bunmi Lawson. The CBN revoked its licence while the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) later liquidated the financial institution.
Before the delisting of Skye Bank Plc, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had directed to shareholders of the defunct bank to claim their dividends.
According to the acting Director-General, SEC, Ms Mary Uduk, the directive was part of the commission’s investor protection programme to ensure that shareholders got the benefits of investing in the capital market.
She said: “We have informed shareholders of the defunct Skye Bank that unclaimed dividends declared by the bank are being held in trust on their behalf. This will further help reduce the volume of unclaimed dividends in the market and boost investor confidence. Investors that have unclaimed dividends are, therefore, advised to contact Cardinalstone Registrars to process their dividend payments.”
Uduk said the commission had also directed Cardinalstone Registrars and STL Trustees to ensure that all genuine claims of beneficiary shareholders were addressed forthwith.
She said since the company was no longer in operation, the unclaimed dividends had to be made available to the rightful owners as it would go a long way in boosting investor confidence in the market.