Great Nigeria Insurance pushes for immediate delisting

 

 

The board of directors of Great Nigeria Insurance (GNI) Plc has convened an extraordinary general meeting of the insurance company to seek approval for immediate delisting of the company from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

In a regulatory filing yesterday, the board indicated that the extraordinary general meeting scheduled for Wednesday July 25, 2018 in Lagos will “consider and approve the delisting of Great Nigeria Insurance Plc from the Nigerian Stock Exchange with immediate effect”.

While the insurance company had earlier secured provisional approval of the Exchange to restructure, GNI has struggled over the years to meet up with post-listing requirements at the NSE including failing to submit its operational reports as required and inability to meet the free float requirement.

Companies listed on the main board of the Exchange are required to have a minimum of 20 per cent of their shares in the hand of retail minority shareholders, under a listing requirement known as free float. GNI, which is listed on the main board, only has a free float of 16 per cent. The company was recently given extended deadline of May 18, 2020 to dilute its bloc shareholdings and free more shares for minority shares.

GNI has also been one of the companies that have been on the sanction list of the Exchange for failing to submit its quarterly and annual reports and financial statements within the stipulated timelines.

Following Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s banking regulatory regime that required banks to either divest from non-core banking subsidiaries or form a holding company to hold those subsidiaries, Wema Bank had opted to divest from its non-core banking businesses including GNI. The bank in 2016 sold 75 per cent majority equity stake to a consortium of investors known as Insurance Resourcery and Consultancy Services Limited (IRCSL). The deal was valued at N3.24 billion. A total of 2.87 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each of GNI were crossed in a single deal to Insurance Resourcery at N1.13 per share through the negotiated cross deal window of the NSE.

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