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South African regulator fines Steinhoff for misleading markets

South Africa’s market regulator is fining retailer Steinhoff R53 million for making 'false, misleading or deceptive statements' to the market, the company said on Thursday.

Steinhoff's offices in Stellenbosch. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s market regulator is fining retailer Steinhoff R53 million ($3.6 million) for making “false, misleading or deceptive statements” to the market, the company said on Thursday.

Steinhoff revealed an accounting fraud in December 2017 that shocked investors and wiped more than R200 billion off its stock market value.

The company said the penalty would have been R1.5 billion, but was reduced in recognition of the fact that the fraud was perpetrated by former employees and that the company had cooperated with regulators.

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) ruled that multiple, significant restatements of the company’s accounts after December 2017 supported the conclusion that Steinhoff failed to meet its obligations under the Financial Markets Act.