SEC lifts suspension on Heritage Capital Markets

SEC lifts suspension on Heritage Capital Markets

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Nigeria’s apex capital market regulator, has lifted the suspension on Heritage Capital Markets Limited and its directors, returning the firm to its position as a virile capital market operator.

SEC in a circular, indicated it had “lifted the suspension of Heritage Capital Markets Ltd together with its directors and sponsored individuals”.

Ripples Nigeria had earlier reported that SEC was considering lifting the suspension it clamped on Heritage Capital Markets after the firm lodged a formal protest that the suspension was in error.

The SEC appeared to have acted in haste and error in its decision to suspend the company indefinitely from all capital market activities over a family crisis on the control of the estate of one Late Prince Cyril Ukachukwu.

SEC had on December 21, 2016 slammed an indefinite suspension on Heritage Capital Markets, a stockbroking and dealing firm, over alleged illegal sale of investor’s shares.

In a circular announcing the decision, SEC had stated that it suspended indefinitely Heritage Capital Markets Limited and its directors and sponsored individuals “in connection with the unauthorized sale of shares belonging to an investor and its refusal to comply with the Commission’s directives in that regard”.

However, investigations by Ripples Nigeria showed that the matter involved the estate of late Prince Cyril N. Ukachukwu of Abia Omuma in Oru East LGA, Imo State, the deceased owner of CN Ukachukwu & Sons. Three siblings had written a petition against two others. The transactions involved more than N100 million.

Investigations indicated that Heritage Capital Markets was in the process of complying with the directives of the Commission and there had been several communications between the operator, SEC and the other parties.

Contrary to the claim of unauthorised or fraudulent sale of shares, investigations showed that the contention within the family was the appropriateness of the representation which Heritage Capital Markets relied on for the transactions.

Read also: Investigations… SEC suspension of Heritage Capital Markets and the untold story

Heritage Capital Markets had on December 7, 2016 wrote to SEC notifying the apex capital market regulator that it had reached the final stage of resolving the issue and requested for an appointment at earliest convenience to meet with SEC for guidance.

In the same letter, Heritage Capital Markets had restated its commitment to resolving the matter on or before December 31, 2016.

On the same day, Heritage Capital Markets had written letters to Fidelity Bank and Access Bank to confirm signatures of the signatories to CN Ukachukwu & Sons, which had requested for the transfer of the company’s shares account from Heritage Capital Markets to another stockbroking firm.

Heritage Capital Market also same day wrote to the managing director of CN Ukachukwu & Sons to intimate the company of the request to banks for verification of signatories’ signature. The capital market operator also requested that the company should provide for sighting original copy of CO2, CO7 and Certificate of Incorporation, a letter of withdrawal to SEC and physical identification of the signatories to the account.

Ripples Nigeria findings showed that Heritage Capital Market while in the process of resolving the matter, which it communication with the regulator, was slammed with the suspension.


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