By ZAKA KHALIQ
As public and private companies across the country close their financial books for 2016, about 17 insurance companies, some of who were publicly quoted on the floor of Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE), were unable to conduct their 2015 Annual General Meeting(AGM), LEADERSHIP exclusively learnt.
Investigation shows that the affected companies had already closed their books for 2015, meaning that their 2015 AGM is not visible this year.
The requirement stipulates that any company, especially, listed entity, must give a 21-day notice to its shareholders prior to an AGM date, and as it stands, none of the companies has done so.
While the likes of Linkage Assurance, African Alliance Insurance, UNIC Insurance, NICON Insurance and Guinea Insurance are still battling regulatory issues, as they were unable to do the needful to have their accounts approved by the insurance industry regulator, the National Insurance Commission(NAICOM) as at 7th of November, 2016, Great Nigeria Insurance (GNI Plc), Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc, Goldlink Insurance, Alliance & General Insurance, Alliance & General Life, Investment & Allied Insurance Plc, Spring Life Assurance Plc, Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation(NAIC) and Unitrust Insurance Company Ltd have not even submit their 2015 accounts to the regulatory authority, even as Fin Insurance, Equity Assurance and International Energy Insurance (IEI) Plc had gotten their accounts approved, but were unable to brief their respective shareholders on the financial positions of the companies in 2015 financial year end.
Most of the affected underwriters, LEADERSHIP learnt, are loss-making institutions and are having challenges balancing their books.
The last time GNI Plc briefed its shareholders on its financial status was in 2014 financial year, when it combined three AGMs together. However, some investors are already trying to acquire the company after years of loss-making streak, which could be a turn around in the fortune of the firm.
Equity Assurance on the other hand has equally gotten approval from NAICOM to go ahead with its 2015 AGM, but a Cote D’ Ivoire Insurance Company, Sunu Assurances Vie Cote D’Ivoire, earlier in the year, acquired a 60 per cent stake in the company, which market analysts say could be responsible for its inability to hold the AGM.
Guinea Insurance, has had its account approved, but have internal issues to settle before holding its 2015 AGM. Cornerstone Insurance acquired FIN Insurance, a transaction that affected its ability to hold its 2015 AGM.
Therefore, the shareholders of the 17 insurers were left in the dark as to the state of their investments in those companies. Although, most of the companies have financial challenges that is clipping their financial muscles to do certain things, such as AGM.