SEC rules out reduction in brokers’ capital base

The curtain must have finally come down on the agitation for re­duction in the new minimum capital base for the operators at the nation’s capital mar­ket as its apex regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC), an­nounced there was no going back on its directive for all operators to scale through the hurdles at the expiration of its deadline in December.

Fielding questions from the media at the end of the Capital Market Committees (CMC) meeting Wednesday in Lagos, its Director General, Ms Arunma Oteh, who also dismissed fears of another bad debt era in the banking sec­tor, said the Commission was satisfied with the plans of the operators to meet the require­ments, adding that the failure to implement the 2007 review of the operators’ capital base made them soft target for the 2007/2008 financial crisis.

Going down memory lane, the SEC boss explained that the issue of recapitalization has been overflogged for too long.

Her words: “The issue has been ongoing for a number of years. In 2007, SEC an­nounced minimum capital requirement but didn’t imple­ment them as at that time. When I joined the SEC in 2010, I was brief thoroughly about the initiative. And at that time, my colleagues even felt that the reasons the 2007/2008 crisis was even more difficult for us was because what they wanted to do 2007 did not happen and advised that we should immediately review the minimum capital require­ments for different categories of market operators.

Having spoken with a number of capi­tal market operators on the heels of crisis that not only af­fected Nigeria but every other jurisdiction, they felt we could wait for some time to recover from the shock occasioned by the crisis. We then waited till February 2012. We set up an industry-wide committee to basically review the situa­tion and they came up with recommendation.

The stock exchange was involved in­cluding trade groups. When the current SEC resumed in January, it was one of the is­sues they where concerned about. Work was done, the Board of SEC approved that work. The work was submit­ted to the Minister of Finance with the requirements of the Investment and Security Act and they were announced in December 2013.

Source : SunOnline

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