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The temptation to respond with a shrug to news that SA’s market conduct regulator is investigating trades in the share of Ayo Technology Solutions and its main shareholder, African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI), for possible market manipulation may well be too strong for some investors. SA’s regulators haven’t done their reputation a whole lot of good when it comes to investigating possible wrongdoing in the corporate sector. The delays, if one takes the prolonged investigation into the Resilient stable of property companies as an example, have been negative for both parties. For the companies involved, they had to deal with months of being stigmatised and the more than real possibility that in the eyes of many investors they were presumed guilty and therefore untouchable. That uncertainty around the Resilient group affected the whole listed property sector, seeing it drop more than 30% for 2018, which was the first since the depths of the global financial crisis in 2008.

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