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BY NKECHI NAECHE–-The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the weekend suspended the shares of four insurance companies for not submitting their 2017 audited accounts and statements.
This is contained in a notice to dealing members, listed the insurance companies as Veritas Kapital Assurance, African Alliance Insurance, Standard Alliance Insurance and STACO Insurance.
It said the suspension of trading in the shares of the affected companies took effect from July 5, and that the suspension would only be lifted upon the submission of the relevant accounts.
The notice further said the accounts must comply with all applicable rules of the exchange.
The exchange also noted that the trading in their stocks was based on speculation and was not good for the market.
Some shareholders who spoke to our correspondents noted that many listed insurance companies have poor corporate governance structures, noting that this poor management translates to late submission of accounts, non-payment of dividends mostly due to negative retained earnings.
The insurance stocks capitalisation on the NSE dropped N6billion within a month following the implementation of the new pricing methodology introduced by the exchange in January.
The NSE, on January 29, began the implementation of the one kobo rule from an initial floor of 50 kobo per share, meaning stocks can now trade at a minimum of one kobo per share.
The new pricing rule will see the prices of over one third of the quoted companies falling to as low as one kobo after the initial floor price of 50 kobo was removed.
Meanwhile at the close of trading yesterday investors on the exchange traded 319.63 million shares worth N3.07 billion in 4,054 deals.
The transactions were lower compared with 503.12 million shares valued at N5.89 billion achieved in 3,710 deals on Thursday.
NAHCO topped the activity chart with an exchange of 148.52 million shares worth N1.05 billion.
Zenith International Bank followed with an account of 17.27 million shares valued at N419.81 million, while Sterling Bank traded 16.98 million shares worth N24.78 million.
UBA sold 14.31 million shares valued at N148.03 million, while GTBank traded 13.76 million shares worth N567.51 million.
Also, the market indices closed lower with a loss of 0.31 per cent due to loses recorded by some blue chips.
Consequently, the All-Share Index which opened at 37,743.22 dipped 117.63 points or 0.31 per cent to close at 37,625.59.
Market capitalisation lost N43 billion or 0.31 per cent to close at N13.629 trillion against N13.672 trillion on Thursday.
Guaranty Trust Bank led the gainers’ table, growing by N1.48 to close at N41.50 per share.
Julius Berger followed with a gain of 55k to close at N29.50, while Presco gained 40k to close at N75.50 per share.
NEM Insurance appreciated by 30k to close at N3.40, while UPL increased by 22k to close N2.55 per share.
Mobil Oil topped the losers’ chart with a loss of N10 to close at N165 per share.
Dangote Cement trailed with a loss of N3 to close at N225, while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria was down by N2.05 to close at N22.25 per share.
Nigerian Breweries declined by N1.90 to close at N111.10, while PZ industries went down by N1.70 to close at N19 per share.