Nicol pledges to emerge stronger as it counts losses

Mr Mosha
A year after the National Investment Company Limited (Nicol) grappled with legal predicaments to save itself from total collapse, it has emerged and assured its shareholders that their investments were safe.

The public company,  last week saw the High Court rule in its favour by squashing claims by the Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA).

They include lifting the removal of the Nicol board and chief executive officer, the unfreezing of Nicol’s bank accounts, and that CMSA should conduct its activities in accordance with the law.

Speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam, Nicol chairman, Mr Felix Mosha, without stating the exact amount, said that the CMSA  as actions that led to Nicol being shutdown for a full year had worsened the losses  the company had posted in it to pave the way forward.

However, he vowed that Nicol would emerge stronger from the crisis as it proceeds to re-build itself under more stable conditions.

“Shareholders should be assured that Nicol remains a strong and viable company with its 46,631 members…investments of shareholders are  safe,” he said.

He added that the court ruling would  pave the way forward an opportunity for the company to build a proper working relationship with CMSA from experience both have gained as a result of the crisis.

However, in a quick rejoinder, the CMSA's public relations manager, Mr Charles Shirima, said the authority was yet to receive a court ruling statement for it to draw position to take.

According to Mr Mosha, the first move by Nicol’s board will be to organise an annual general meeting during the next two months to give the shareholders an opportunity to determine the best direction to in its long term growth strategy, including option of returning to the bourse.

Despite the losses that the company is yet to quantify, he said, the original investment of 11.7bn/- has grown over a decade to about 30bn/- with over 80 per cent of it in Nicol National Microfinance Bank (NMB) shares.

The filing of the suit came five months after CMSA wrote to CRDB, NMB and Exim banks instructing them to block any cash outflows from its accounts to protect the interests of Nicol’s investors.

According to Nicol, the freezing of its bank accounts halted its operations and risked expulsion from its Raha Tower building offices over failure to pay US $ 42,000 (63m/-) in rent.

CMSA had, between December 2010 and January 2011, carried out investigations into Nicol activities and uncovered massive irregularities, including failure to maintain proper accounts.
Source: The Citizen,www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported by Al-amani Mutarubukwa

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