Financial regulator clears 3 accounts for Steinhoff insider trading

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority says it has finished part of its investigation into potential insider trading in the shares of embattled retailer Steinhoff, finding no evidence of manipulation in three accounts. 

Bloomberg reported in late December 2018 that the financial regulator was investigating seven Steinhoff accounts into total for potential insider trading. 

The FSCA, formally known as the Financial Services Board, reported on Thursday it had investigated three accounts where R418m in Steinhoff shares were traded during the period preceding December 4, 2017.

"This brings the total number of accounts investigated for insider trading with no adverse findings to a total of 56," it said. 

“We found no reason to believe that any of these shares were traded in contravention of the Financial Markets Act” said Brandon Topham, Divisional Executive for Investigation and Enforcement at the authority. 

It did not say who owned the accounts. 

The FSCA added it is continuing with an investigation into other accounts where R46m worth of shares were traded in the weeks leading up to the abrupt resignation of the company's former CEO Markus Jooste. "[A] press update will be issued upon finalisation of the investigation."

Steinhoff's share price plunged in early December 2017 after Jooste resigned and the group's auditors flagged accounting irregularities in its books. 

On Thursday at 10:00, Steinhoff shares were changing hands at R1.76 a share. 

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