Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Steinhoff shares were up another 35% on Tuesday after European Central Bank (ECB) data showed that the monetary authority had held onto its Steinhoff bonds.

The beleaguered retailer was downgraded to junk status by Moody’s after CEO Markus Jooste stepped down in the light of "accounting irregularities".

Steinhoff’s bonds and shares have since collapsed, although some losses have been recovered so far this week.

Reuters reported on Monday that the ECB bought Steinhoff’s bonds as part of its €2.55-trillion quantitative easing programme.

The bond still featured on a list of ECB holdings published on Monday, Reuters said.

The ECB is only allowed to buy investment-grade bonds, though it does not have to sell them if they are downgraded to junk status.

On Monday, Steinhoff requested the support of its lenders in an effort "to achieve an immediate stabilisation of the group’s financing".

Vestact said in a note to clients on Tuesday that following a 55% jump in Steinhoff shares on Monday — albeit off a low base — "Steinhoff is up another 35% this morning after the ECB announced that they would be keeping their stake in Steinhoff bonds".

The asset manager said in a separate note on Monday that "if the bankers start running for the door, that will collapse Steinhoff completely".

Steinhoff’s shares were trading 35% up at R12.60 in early afternoon trading on Tuesday.

With Reuters

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