Money and Markets

The JSE says Steinhoff screwed over investors – so it must pay a R1 million fine

Business Insider SA

  • Steinhoff Investment Holdings twice failed to announce ratings downgrades, the JSE said on Tuesday morning, breaching its listing requirements.
  • As a result it has been publicly censured – and fined R1 million.
  • Even after a massive collapse, that part of the Steinhoff network of companies is worth R660 million.

The JSE on Tuesday imposed a R1 million fine on Steinhoff Investment Holdings, one of the many companies that make up the larger Steinhoff group, for breaching its listing requirements.

The fine represents about 0.15% of Steinhoff Investment's market capitalisation.

Steinhoff had twice failed to announce ratings downgrades, the JSE said, in breach of strict listing conditions that require price-sensitive information to be published "without delay", and provided to all investors and the general public simultaneously.

See also: Steinhoff lost R80 million on the sale of its brand new company jet - and 6 other things we've learned from its results

Instead, Steinhoff once did nothing, and once waited until the market had closed, to share such information.

In the first instance, Moody's Investor Services downgraded Steinhoff's credit rating significantly, days after CEO Markus Jooste had resigned with what appeared to be an admission he had cooked the books. Steinhoff, the JSE says, admits it was informed of that downgrade shortly after midnight on 8 December. It did not notify investors.

On 28 December Moody's further downgraded Steinhoff's rating, as it informed the company at three minutes past noon. Steinhoff only published a notice to shareholders at 17:33 – after the market had closed for the day.

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