KHAYA SITHOLE: JSE locks the stable door after the false financials horse has bolted
The time lag between misinformation that influences investor decisions and the imposition of fines on the culprit companies disadvantages shareholders
In December 2017, Steinhoff, one of the biggest companies on the JSE, announced the abrupt departure of its CEO. In its explanation for Markus Jooste’s exit, the company referred to “accounting irregularities” that had been uncovered.
As it turned out, the irregularities related to multiple years of inflated and falsified profits involving various parts of the Steinhoff business across different parts of the world. The scale of the aftershock was reflected in the share price, which lost more than 95% of its value and has continued to trade at those levels for almost three years.