Frankfurt Stock Exchange keeps Steinhoff shares trading

The trading floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Deutsche Börse AG)
The trading floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Deutsche Börse AG)

Cape Town - The Frankfurt Stock Exchange, where global furniture retailer Steinhoff has its primary listing, said on Friday afternoon it was not considering halting the trade in Steinhoff's shares. 

The SA-headquartered and Dutch-registered retailer’s stock share price has plunged over the past three days in the wake of the abrupt resignation of its CEO Markus Jooste on Tuesday evening, and the announcement of an internal probe by PwC. 

But like the JSE, where it has a secondary listing, the FSE said Steinhoff would continue trading. 

Patrick Kalbhenn, spokesperson for Deutsche Börse AG, told Fin24 that “a sharp decline alone is no reason for a trading suspension”.

He added that, in general, the only reasons for a trade suspension at the FSE were technical and connection faults, information imbalances and indications of market manipulation

READ: A Steinhoff guide for dummies - where it all started

Earlier on Friday the JSE said it had decided not to suspend the listing or halt trading, saying there is at this stage “no compelling reasons to do so”.

“Should any instances of potential market abuse be reported or identified, the JSE will, in accordance with its regulatory duties and responsibilities, refer these to the Directorate of Market Abuse at the Financial Services Board,” it said in a statement. 

“The JSE will continue to engage with the company and its sponsor and will monitor developments to ensure the integrity of its market.”

Steinhoff International has lost over 80% of its market capitalisation since the announcement of the PwC probe into unspecified accounting irregularities, wiping tens of billions of rands off the JSE. 

Its share price has fallen from R46.24 at close of trade on Tuesday to R7.27 at 16:20 on Friday.  

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