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SEC: Electronic-Dividend Registration to Continue

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday said the electronic-dividend registration exercise would continue seamlessly in spite of the expiration of the December 31, 2017 free registration deadline.

SEC had undertaken to pay the cost of the enrolment for e-dividend since 2016 and gave December 31, a 2017 as deadline for the free registration.

Speaking in Abuja yesterday, Acting Director General of SEC, Dr. Abdul Zubair, said that all investors that are yet to enroll, are enjoined to continue with the registration exercise at a marginal cost of N150 only.

He said: “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 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 the investors at the point of registration and/or submission of completed e-dividend mandate forms.

In his comments, Director External Relations of the SEC, Mr. Henry Rowlands disclosed that the SEC has consulted with other stakeholders to ensure that the process is seamless, adding that investors should entertain no fear of being charged until their registration is approved.

“Where the investor’s account is not funded, the parties have agreed that such an enrolment request will be disapproved because the account is not funded and the investor will be alerted accordingly,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zubair also announced an extension of the forbearance window for Multiple Accounts consolidation to March 31, 2018.

The SEC boss said: “With a view to encouraging 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 31st of 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 regularised shall be transferred, on trust, to the Capital Market Development Fund.”

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

He noted that for the avoidance of doubt, all paper dividend warrants issued up till December 31, 2017 are valid and should be honoured.

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