Tuesday 27 September 2016

Toshiba shares skid 17pc on accounting probe

Ayai Tomisawa and Ritsuko Ando

Published 12/05/2015 | 02:30

A customer in Tokyo looks at humanoid robot dubbed Aiko Chihira and developed by Toshiba. The company’s value fell $2.5bn yesterday due to accounting problems
A customer in Tokyo looks at humanoid robot dubbed Aiko Chihira and developed by Toshiba. The company’s value fell $2.5bn yesterday due to accounting problems

Fears over Toshiba's second probe into its own accounting in two years wiped close to $2.5bn off the Japanese industrial giant's market value yesterday, with analysts saying lingering doubt on the root of the problem will keep investors on edge.

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Shares in Toshiba tumbled by their daily limit of 17pc yesterday.

The company said after the market close on Friday it was withdrawing its earnings guidance for the fiscal year ended March and cancelling a year-end dividend due as it expanded a previously announced investigation.

Toshiba had warned in April that it may have underreported costs of some infrastructure projects in the 2012/13 fiscal year. On Friday it said an internal probe, its second in less than two years, found other irregularities, including a failure to adequately book losses related to construction work.

"The new development...is worsening uncertainty further," said Fumio Matsumoto, fund manager at Dalton Capital Japan.

"At the end of the day, the amount that's affected may or may not that big, but the fact that we don't have details leaves us worried."

Toshiba said it would set up a third-party committee to further investigate, and that it could not report its financial results for the year that ended in March, normally announced around this time, until June or later.

Dalton's Matsumoto also said that portfolio managers may face questions from clients on why they should retain Toshiba shares.

"If you are an active fund manager and own Toshiba stock and are overweight on it, you really need a strong reason to justify the reason of holding the stock when you are required to give explanations to your clients," he said.

The latest probe follows Toshiba's October 2013 announcement that it found its medical subsidiary, Toshiba Medical Information Systems, had overstated results for several years.

Irish Independent

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