SEC steps in as more Nigerians buy foreign stocks

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has said it will register and actively monitor brokers selling stocks for foreign companies in furtherance of its mandate of ensuring investor protection and market transparency, especially for retail investors.

The Executive Commissioner Operations, SEC, Mr Dayo Obisan, was quoted in a statement by SEC on Sunday as saying this during an interview with Bloomberg over the weekend.

According to Obisan, SEC intends to license firms offering foreign stocks under a “digital sub-broker” regulation, which should provide a form of clarity to their activities.

He said the requirement would ensure regulatory responsibilities in on-boarding clients, custody of assets, and compliance with reporting requirements were met.

He said, “Ultimately, we expect that registration will ensure that only genuine platforms target retail investors. We already have one of the platforms at a very advanced stage in the registration process.

“The SEC has rules on foreign investments and cross-border transactions which specify the requirements for foreign investors seeking to invest in Nigeria as well as issuers of securities. Broadly speaking, all capital market instruments are registrable – equities, bonds, units of investment funds, derivatives, etc.”

According to Obisan, the Nigerian market has been open to the listing of securities by foreign issuers, and there are no restrictions in that regard.

He said, “As mentioned earlier, Part H of our Rules deals with the regulation of foreign investments and cross-border securities transactions.

“Most foreign issuers take advantage of the reciprocal agreements which exist between Nigeria and the country of the issuer, especially where the securities regulator of that country is a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

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