Though not confirmed if it was precipitated by it, the news follows reports that former Steinhoff chief executive Markus Jooste advised friends via a cellphone text message to sell the retailer's shares days before the stock collapsed.
According to the FSCA’s Thobeka Jojozi, insider trading is being probed in the seven trading accounts that sold off shares during the period from November to December 2017. The trading accounts under investigation belong to individuals, trusts and corporate entities.
“We have investigated the share trading on these accounts to establish whether it may have been undertaken by parties who were in possession of inside information regarding the alleged accounting irregularities and Mr Jooste’s resignation as CEO,”Jojozi said.
The probe is close to completion. The trading-accounts investigation is one of three cases the FSCA has registered.