THE STOCK EXCHANGE SYSTEM FAILURE THAT NEARLY COST AN INVESTOR’S 20 MILLION UNITS OF FIRST BANK STOCK

Trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday 6 November, 2008 were nearly marred by constant glitches in the Exchange’s network, but for vigilance, an unnamed investor would have lost 20 million units of his First Bank shares.

Indications of the discomforting disruptions that would characterize trading activities on the day emerged at about 10.59am when the Exchange’s management posted a notice on the work stations of brokers warning them of a failure in connection to the Central Securities Clearing System. The dealing clerks were warned not to use the opportunity to sell what they do not have or enter a wrong account number. “We would not cancel trades or change account numbers for you. Look before you leap. Thank you.” The message warned.

It turned out that the Exchange had no choice but to cancel trades after all. At about 1.18 pm, the Exchange’s, management posted another notice on the work station: “Camry sold First Bank shares without mandate, hence the Exchange called for a cancellation of the deal. 

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