April 12, 2018 / 11:47 AM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 1-Oando shares soar after Nigeria bourse lifts suspension

(Adds details, comments from SEC, Oando)

By Chijioke Ohuocha

LAGOS, April 12 (Reuters) - Shares in Nigerian oil company Oando surged 10 percent on resuming trade in Lagos on Thursday after the regulator lifted a suspension.

Oando shares jumped to 6.60 naira immediately after the stock market opened after closing at 6.30 naira on Wednesday.

The shares traded only briefly on Wednesday after being suspended for six months on the orders of Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which is investigating the oil company over alleged insider trading.

The regulator briefly re-imposed the suspension on Wednesday, citing SEC directives but then lifted it again by Thursday.

When the shares were originally suspended six months ago they were trading at 5.99 naira.

Oando, with a secondary listing in South Africa, said it has been notified by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange that it will lift a similar suspension on its stock on Friday.

Last October, the SEC said it had carried out a comprehensive review of Oando after it received two petitions about alleged financial mismanagement and had found related party transactions were not conducted at arm’s length and discrepancies in its ownership structure.

Oando said a team of Deloitte auditors appointed by the SEC had resumed work at its offices on a forensic audit and that it was cooperating with the SEC and the auditors.

“We are hopeful that the forensic audit will have limited impact on the day-to-day operations of the business,” Oando said in a statement.

Oando said in January it has settled a dispute with a key shareholder and was working on resolving remaining shareholder disputes and getting the share suspension lifted. (Additional reporting by Felix Onuah in Abuja; Editing by Susan Fenton and Adrian Croft)

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