By Omobayo Azeez
In the light of the global pandemic of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged public companies to be transparent with the impacts of the pandemic on their operations.
It stated in a circular dated to players in the capital market that public companies should continue making material disclosures to investors on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on their business operations.
“They should also continue to disclose the trend and outlook for the company, and updates on implementation of business continuity plans. Public companies are to publish these disclosures on their websites and on other relevant media.
“Public companies that plan to conduct AGMs are required to ensure that the conduct of the meetings complies with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Investments and Securities Act, the SEC Rules and Regulations, relevant government and health circulars and guidelines issued in this regard.”
Debt issuers, the commission said, must also continue to engage trustees to ensure that relevant disclosures are provided, and the trustees are required to provide updates to the commission accordingly.
It further enjoined all capital market operators to continue monitoring the real and potential risks posed by COVID-19 on their business operations and the discharge of services to investors and clients.
For further guidance, the commission is to be contacted through the dedicated email addresses for filing CMOs returns, the statement added.
The SEC assured that it will continue to engage and collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that the capital market remains resilient.
“While we work to maintain market stability, we encourage everyone to continue to comply with all directives issued by the Federal Government and relevant agencies during this challenging period” the SEC added.
Meanwhile, the SEC added In line with the federal government’s directives on the cessation of movement in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), it has activated its business continuity process.
Accordingly, while the staff of the commission will work remotely, all of its electronic channels will remain open to provide the necessary support to capital market stakeholders, according to a circular dated March 31, 2020.