November 29: Securities Board of Nepal (SEBON) has imposed a fine of Rs 5.3 million on 88 listed companies that did not submit financial statements within the stipulated time. The board slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on 69 companies and Rs 100,000 on 19 companies.
The board on Tuesday published the names of 88 companies that faced action. The companies that faced action include four development banks, three from the hotel and tourism sector, three from the investment group, one each from commercial and other sector, 24 microfinance companies, two life insurance companies, five non-life insurance companies, four companies from the production and processing sector, two finance companies and 39 hydropower companies.
Among the companies listed in the secondary market of securities, majority of those facing action were from the hydropower sector. The board fined Rs 2.4 million to 39 companies from this sector.
A meeting of the board of directors of SEBON held on November 6 had decided to impose a cash fine on those companies that did not submit their financial statements.
Chairman of the board Ramesh Kumar Hamal informed New Business Age that such a large number of listed companies were fined for the first time in the history of SEBON.
Hamal says that any company that defies the rules will be subjected to action. “SEBON will ensure that the rules are followed strictly,” he said.
Hamal informed that the board has adopted a zero tolerance policy towards companies that do not publish financial statements within the specified period. He was of the view that the general investors should be able to view the financial statements of listed companies on time. He further said that even those companies that submitted the financial statement one day later than the specified date were also fined.
"Since the financial statements to be submitted by listed companies are very important for the securities market, the board has taken strict action against those who did not submit such statements on time," said Hamal.
The board imposed the fines as per Section 101 of the Securities Act, 2063. According to subsection 4 of Section 101 of the Securities Act, if any person knowingly or maliciously fails to submit the financial statements, details, reports, notices, information or any other similar document in time as required by the Act or the rules or regulations made under the Act, the Board shall impose a fine of Rs 50,000 to Rs 200,000.
Last July, the board had issued a warning to the companies that it will take legal action if they do not follow the regulations.
SEBON clarified that it took action against those companies that ignored the warning of the board and did not submit the financial statements on time.
The companies registered with the board need to submit their financial details as mentioned in Schedule 14 of the Securities Registration and Issuance Regulations, 2073 to the SEBON within 30 days of the end of the quarterly period and publish such report in a national daily newspaper. Such organizations have to submit the annual report according to Schedule 15 of the Securities Registration and Issuance Regulations, 2073 to the board within five months from the end of each fiscal year.
In addition, the listed companies must include the audited report’s summary with the main points of the compliance report in the annual report in accordance with Sub-section (4) of Section 20 of the Institutional Governance Guidelines, 2074.
Similarly, if there is any event or transaction mentioned in Schedule 16 of the Securities Registration and Issuance Regulations, 2073, which may affect the market value of the listed securities, there is a provision to submit such information to the Securities Board of Nepal within 2 to 3 days.