Capital  Reconstruction: NSE Halts  Trading  in   Prestige Assurance  Shares



The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last Friday placed the shares of Prestige Assurance Plc on full suspension  to enable the Company’s Registrars update  the register of shareholders for the planned share capital reconstruction of the company.

This implies that there will not be trading in the shares of the insurance firm for now. Prestige Assurance had last year made an application to the NSE   for a “No Objection” to its proposal to reduce   the  company’s share capital from N2, 685,216,000 being 5,370,432,000 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to N1, 908,705,000 being 3,817,410,000 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each in the issued and fully paid up ordinary shares of the Company.

According to the company, the  share capital so reduced will be applied in writing off the capital of the company which is lost or unrepresented by available assets.
Prestige Assurance had  explained that the essence of the capital reconstruction was  to enable it  wipe out its accumulated retained losses of N776, 511,000.

It added that  the reconstruction will reposition the company on a trajectory for subsequent accumulated retained profit, create more value to its shareholders, allow the company to declare dividend and improve its perception in the market thereby making it more competitive.

The management of Prestige Assurance Plc late last year told the capital market community of   strategic initiatives being taken that would ensure sustained growth over the next five years.

According to the  company’s forecasts, pre-tax profit is expected to rise to N877 million by the end of 2017 and thereafter rise consecutively to N8.08 billion by 2021. Profit after tax  is expected to increase to N596 million in 2017 and N2.09 billion in 2021.

Chief Financial Officer, Prestige Assurance Plc, Mr. Oluwadare Emmanuel, said the company’s strategic growth plan focused on prompt payment of claims to customers and dividend payment to shareholders.

He disclosed that   the company has restructured its balance sheet in order to be able to make dividend payments while it has implemented many digital transformation initiatives and robust software to ensure prompt claims payment.

He added that successful launch of new products such as Prestige Mediclaim Policy, Prestige Salary Protection Shield and Travel Insurance (OMP), expansion of retail market reach by employing marketing associates and opening new branches were aimed at deepening the company’s market penetration and build a solid base for growth.