SEC to investigate Access Bank’s share price freeze by NSE

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Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it is investigating last month’s price freeze on the shares of Access Bank ahead of its N68 billion rights issue.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in September suspended the shares for a week after the bank applied for the permission to raise fresh funds through rights issue.

The NSE said that suspension was needed because information on the Bank’s plans to raise capital was not publicly available and that it wanted to avoid speculation in its shares.

The Bank said in a statement published on its website that it believed that the ‘technical suspension’ of its shares was in the Bank’s shareholders’ best interest.

“The Board believes that the Technical Suspension is in the overall interest of the Bank’s shareholders and will preserve shareholders’ value, on account of the proposed corporate action. The Technical Suspension will be lifted on January27, 2015 and the normal trading activities commence from January 28, 2015.”

Access Bank has over 800,000 shareholders including several Nigerian and International Institutional Investors and has enjoyed what is arguably Africa’s most successful banking growth trajectory in the last eleven years ranking amongst Africa’s top 15 banks by total assets and capital.

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