By Goddy Egene
Full trading suspension has been placed on the shares of Newrest ASL Nigeria Plc. The company, which delivers catering service to the civil aviation sector, as well as to oil and gas sector has applied to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for a voluntary delisting. And in notification to market operators, NSE said it has approved the application of Newrest ASL and has placed the shares on full suspension.
“This suspension is required to prevent further trading in the shares of Newrest ASL, and in order for the company to comply with the post-approval requirements which will precede the final delisting of the company from the Daily Official List of the exchange. Dealing members will be notified of the date of the company’s delisting in due course,” the exchange said.
While some shareholders have decried the frequent delisting of companies without adequate protection, the Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, has always said the market has a free entry free exit. According to him, the exchange would always have the interest of investors in mind but cannot stop companies that want to leave because of inability to meet the post-listing requirements to remain.
He explained that for companies that get delisted because of poor performance, shareholders should develop the habit of questioning any irregularities discovered in the financial statements of companies before such companies get worst.
He said despite the fact that NSE and other regulators play the role of investor protection, the shareholders themselves have a role which they too must play if their interests are to be fully protected.
Onyema said: “One of the things that we actually pride ourselves at the Exchange is protection of investors. I know that when something goes wrong the first person you want to shoot is the Exchange and possibly the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC because we are in the frontline. If I take Syke Bank specifically, the exchange has done a lot to protect the interest of shareholders but let understand we are operating in the market place where shareholders themselves have responsibility.”
He called on investors to constantly study the financial statements of companies and to also attend annual general meetings(AGMs) where they can ask questions and seek clarifications.
“When we force companies to disclose, they put up their financials, you go to AGM you have right to ask questions, if the management is doing something you have to hold them accountable. You don’t have to wait until something goes wrong and you start blaming stock exchange,” he said.