Breaking: NSE Cancels Trades Of UNIC Diversified Holdings Plc


A day after announcing the suspension of Unic Diversified Holdings Plc (formerly Unic Insurance) in what it explained was to “ensure market integrity,” the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), on Friday announced the outright cancellation of Thursday’s transactions on the company’s shares.
The cancellation, the NSE said Friday morning in another terse statement, followed an abnormal behaviour in the company’s trading price.
The statement said: “kindly be informed that all trades in the security (UNIC) that matched prices outside yesterday’s price band (N0.18 – N0.20) are considered invalid and therefore cancelled. All inconveniences are regretted.”
Recall that UNIC’s share price gained an unprecedented 200% at some point during the day, outside of the 10% band +/- allowed by the exchange engine.
Meanwhile, it is not known whether the story in Friday’s edition of The Nation newspapers could have any relationship with events on the NSE on Thursday.
The newspaper reports a takeover of the company by Nigeria’s National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) the insurance industry’s primary regulator, in what it said is on the heels of a drive to sanitise the sector and ensure safety of policyholders investment in the sector.
Although, UNIC Insurance has been unable to pay claims to policyholders and had weak financial result, the report said NAICOM is yet to say why it took over the firm, even as industry sources say the board of UNIC has been sacked while a four man interim board comprising NAICOM’s former Director of Finance and Accounts, Chief Samuel Ordu, and Theophilus Eke as interim chairman and Managing Director respectively to pilot the affairs of the company has been constituted.
The interim board which has an initial period of six months to conduct a forensic audit on the firm and point out the corporate governance failures observed in the course of reviewing the financial statements also has as members: Ifeyinwa Ann Momah and Nicholas Shaiyen.
The Nation also learnt that NAICOM is prepared to intervene in more companies. Few days ago, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mohammed Kari said there is an urgent need for consolidation between the firms. He said aside the underwriters, all other insurance operators especially brokers would also need to consolidate.