Steinhoff Share Price Plunge Nears 90% as Debt Cut to Junk

Posted December 09, 2017

Moody's also warned that it was placing Steinhoff on review for a further downgrade.

Shares in the global retailer Steinhoff, which has its roots in Germany and is headquartered in South Africa, are still falling.

Since Jooste's resignation the company has lost close to 80% of its value on the JSE. The investigation has been a blow to the company and cost its main shareholder and one of the richest South Africans, Christo Wiese, his billionaire status.

South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said in a statement on Thursday that the country's Financial Services Board had instituted an independent investigation into Steinhoff, in addition to an internal investigation by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to probe the extent of the accounting irregularities.

The yield on its 800 million euro ($914 million) bonds due January 2025 rose 129 basis points to 11.05 percent.

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Steinhoff International Holdings NV extended Wednesday's record plunge in the wake of an accounting scandal and said it planned to raise at lease 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) from an asset sale to boost liquidity. "That notwithstanding, the Minister has requested the retirement funds [regulators] to provide him with a report on the extent of exposure for retirements funds".

"The minister expects that this report will give assurances that the interests of the shareholders are protected, including their retirement and savings funds", said Gigaba.

The announcement came as a shock to investors, sending the share price on a nosedive crashing more than 60 percent on the stock markets.

"I think it is the end", Simon Brown, Johannesburg-based chief executive officer of trading company JustOneLap.

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