JOHANNESBURG - JSE-listed real estate investment firm NEPI Rockcastle on Tuesday celebrated its clearing by the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) of possible false and misleading reporting.
The FSCA said on Monday it had closed an investigation into a potential breach of the Financial Markets Act.
Last year, NEPI Rockcastle and other real estate firms lost billions of rand after the release of numerous reports by hedge fund and asset managers alleging that the companies' directors had used interrelated party deals and share price manipulation to enhance profits.
American short-seller Viceroy Research said it had uncovered numerous inconsistencies within NEPI Rockcastle's financial reporting and major links to an established financial fraud and called on the FSCA to conduct an investigation.
But the FSCA said it found "no substance in the allegations that NEPI Rockcastle intentionally and negligently made/published false statements in respect of the past or future performance, being the 31 December 2017 financial statements".
After completing its investigation in March, the FSCA's only pending investigation related to NEPI Rockcastle was concerning possible prohibited trading practices in its shares by third parties.
NEPI Rockcastle said it welcomes the conclusion of this investigation, which it said reconfirmed its position and previous communications to the market.
Chief executive Alex Morar reiterated that the company followed strict corporate governance rules and that its board and management were comfortable with the integrity of its business practices.
"We welcome the conclusion of the FSCA's investigation and note that no claims were made against the company, as the allegations raised by certain third parties were groundless," Morar said.
"NEPI Rockcastle has demonstrated exceptional business performance and adheres to best practice in financial reporting and corporate governance. We will continue to focus on delivering strong results and generating long-term value for our stakeholders."
- African News Agency (ANA)