Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Investec admits Steinhoff exposure could make 3pc dent in profits

PPF to lay criminal charges against Steinhoff's Markus Jooste Investec admits Steinhoff exposure could make 3pc dent in profits
Laurie Berry | 11 December, 2017, 19:10

Steinhoff International shares crashed on Wednesday after it revealed accounting irregularities and its CEO quit, shocking investors who had backed the rapid reinvention of a South African furniture chain into an international retail empire.

Shares at the company recovered somewhat on Monday, jumping as much as 40 percent from Friday's close, but well below the R10-mark.

It has also hired USA investment bank Moelis & Co and asked management consultancy AlixPartners "to assist on liquidity management and operational measures".

"In this context, the group is asking for and requires continued support in relation to existing facilities from all its lenders to achieve an immediate stabilisation of the group's financing", it added in a statement.

Steinhoff announced the appointments after having said Friday that it has rescheduled its annual general meeting in London to December 19. Its tax rate has averaged 12 percent over the past five years - half the headline corporate tax rate in its main markets and less than half the rates paid by listed competitors including France's Casino, Germany's Metro AG and South Africa's Woolworths.

Thousands of Indonesians rally at US Embassy over Jerusalem
Late on Saturday, Arab foreign ministers urged the United States to abandon its decision and said the move would spur violence throughout the region.

There was some buying off a low base, but most investors were waiting for more information, Independent Securities trader Ryan Woods said.

The board has appointed Steinhoff's chairman, South African retail billionaire Christo Wiese, as executive chairman on an interim basis following Jooste's departure.

Former Steinhoff chief executive Marcus Joost has issued an apology, stating he "made some big mistakes" and may have caused financial loss to many people.

Steinhoff used debt to fund an acquisition strategy that turned it from a South African furniture group to an global retail empire including brands such as Poundland in Britain and Mattress Firm in the United States.

With Steinhoff shares rallying by around 20% today, Investec shares managed to advance 3.6%, or 16.5p to 477.9p in mid-morning trading, having dropped last week on worries over its exposure.

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