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South Africa fines scandal-hit retailer Steinhoff over false data

Agence France-Presse
South Africa fines scandal-hit retailer Steinhoff over false data

The logo of Steinhoff's Conforama is pictured at the entrance of a store in Paris, France, on December 6, 2017. - Share in South Africa-based German listed retail giant Steinhoff, which owns Conforama in France, Poundland in Britain, Poco in Germany and Pep in southern Africa fell almost 60 percent on December 6, 2017 after the company announced the resignation of its CEO in the wake of alleged accounting irregularities. (Photo by ERIC PIERMONT / AFP)


The Johannesburg Stock Exchange finds that Steinhoff's past financial reports did not comply with international reporting standards

Embattled international retail giant Steinhoff was fined 13.5 million rand ($818,000) by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Tuesday, October 20, for breaching listing requirements including publishing “false and misleading” information.

The company is still struggling to emerge from a huge scandal in 2017 when it was investigated on suspicion of fraud, with a reported 6-billion-euro ($7-billion) hole in its accounts.

Steinhoff, which is listed in both Frankfurt and Johannesburg, saw nearly 98% of its share value wiped out as it faced a barrage of litigation from aggrieved shareholders and business partners, including former chairman Christo Wiese.

The JSE, whose own probe has uncovered a trail of deception in Steinhoff’s affairs, said on Tuesday that the company’s financial reports in 2016, 2015, and prior periods did not comply with international reporting standards.

In addition, the information disclosed was “incorrect, false, and misleading in material aspects,” the JSE said, announcing 3 fines totaling 13.5 million rand.

Steinhoff chief executive officer Louis du Preez said the company noted the JSE decision and was pleased that its probe was concluded.

However, the JSE said its investigation into the conduct of individuals who presided over the company during the periods in question was ongoing.

Shares in Steinhoff, which was founded in Germany and now has holdings in several retail brands across the world, were down 1.16% to 85 cents in Johannesburg on Tuesday. –

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