CAPE TOWN – S&P Global Ratings said on Friday that its rating and outlook on NEPI Rockcastle (BBB/Stable/–) would remain unchanged following the publication of an investment report by Viceroy Research on November 28, and NEPI Rockcastle’s detailed public refutation of that report, as well as the various market reactions to this information.
In its report, Viceroy Research alleged that there were accounting discrepancies within NEPI Rockcastle’s financial reporting and requests stakeholders to reinforce their demands for an independent forensic investigation into the company’s operations.
The initial equity market reaction was significant, with the company's share price losing more than 13 percent. This was largely recovered after NEPI Rockcastle released detailed statements on its reporting, indicating that the Viceroy Report was based on numerous factual errors, misleading information, and false claims.
NEPI Rockcastle also confirmed that Viceroy’s allegations would have no impact on the fair valuation of its assets base and its overall property appraisal process, as reflected in its financial statements prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards.
“Our ratings and outlook on NEPI Rockcastle are therefore unaffected, reflecting the lack of conclusive evidence contained in the Viceroy Research report.
“We will monitor possible developments related to the allegations, including in terms of NEPI Rockcastle's access to capital markets,” said S&P. “This report does not constitute a rating action.”