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SEC sets guidelines on securities settlement

By Chinwendu Obienyi

In a bid to better investors’ protection and improve the efficiency of market infrastructure in Nigeria, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has unfolded its approved guidelines on securities settlement.
In a statement released on SEC website recently, SEC said its main objective for the guidelines was to promote competitive, efficient, safe and sound post-trading arrangements in Nigeria so as to restrict systemic risk.
“The main aim of this guideline is to promote competitive, efficient, safe and sound post-trading arrangements in Nigeria. This should ultimately lead to greater confidence in the securities markets and in turn limit systemic risk.”
SEC mandated that at the end of each day’s transaction in the Exchange Traded Securities (ETs), “the clearing agent/settlement shall generate the financial obligation of each dealing member firms and sort the financial positions of the dealing member firms based on their respective settlement banks to arrive at net position per settlement bank.
“On settlement day, the clearing/settlement agent shall update the record of the investors with the registrar and the dealer member firms shall update the cash accounts of their respective investors with proceeds from the trade less commission,” SEC stated.
The statement further said: “With respect to investors’ payment procedures, dividend and interest payment, customers account should be credited with proceeds from sale of their securities directly into their bank account and registrars shall pay dividend to investors electronically on due date.”
The statement also said that securities transaction must trade or be reported through a licensed exchange in line with the standard settlement guidelines.
SEC then revealed that it will continue to collaborate with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide oversight functions on securities settlement systems, apply appropriate sanctions in the event of default and review or amend the guidelines from time to time.

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