JSE fines Steinhoff R13.5 million for inaccurate reporting

Steinhoff. Picture: Supplied

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has publicly censured Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. and imposed a fine of R13,5 million as it concluded its process against the company as a juristic person.

The JSE said in a SENS statement that the accuracy and reliability of financial information published by companies are of critical importance in ensuring a fair, efficient and transparent market.

Issuers have a duty to comply with the Listings Requirements designed to ensure that investors and potential investors receive relevant and important information timeously to make informed decisions, as well as investor protection and investor confidence.

Therefore the JSE has decided to impose a penalty of public censure and:

  • the maximum permissible fine of R7,5 million on Steinhoff as the previously published financial information did not comply with IFRS and was, in the JSE’s view, incorrect, false and misleading in material aspects;
  • a fine of R5 million for failure to disclose the SGI Transaction on SENS at the time and in the financial results for the fifteen months ended 30 September 2016 when published.
  • a fine of R1 million for failure to disclose, at the time, the Operational Rights Transaction on SENS and in the financial results for the fifteen months ended 30 September 2016 when published.

The JSE said it has considered all the relevant facts and information currently at its disposal in deciding on an appropriate censure and financial penalty as a result of Steinhoff’s transgressions of the Listings Requirements at the time, which include:

  • Steinhoff’s internal review that uncovered the accounting irregularities;
  • its full co-operation and assistance in the JSE’s investigation;
  • the on-going restructure of the Steinhoff Group;
  • the administrative penalty imposed on the Company by the FSCA;
  • the remedial actions undertaken by the Board post December 2017 and
  • the interests of current shareholders, the JSE and the investing public in general.

In these circumstances, the JSE says it considers the fine as appropriate when compared to the nature of the transgressions, circumstances that resulted in the transgressions and the interests of Steinhoff’s shareholders, the JSE and the investing public. The JSE also emphasised the provisions of section 11(5) of the Financial Markets Act, which stipulates that the Listings Requirements are binding on companies and their directors.

The investigation into the conduct of individuals running the company during the time periods in question is continuing.

“Steinhoff notes the JSE’s decision, which relates to the period predating the discovery of accounting irregularities in December 2017. We are pleased that this concludes the JSE’s process in respect of the company,” Louis du Preez, CEO and management board member of Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. said in a SENS announcement.

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