Guptas-owned investment holding company, Oakbay Investments, now faces the chance of being delisted by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) should it fail to produce another auditor, following KPMG’s disasociation with the company.
Auditors KPMG severed their relationship with Oakbay Investments due to controversies surrounding the politically-connected Gupta family.
Read also: Gupta Brothers Flee South Africa
Oakbay investment is the holding company for several Gupta-related subsidiaries. And brothers Atul and Varun Gupta were directors of Oakbay until they stepped down last Friday.
Not only that, the embattled company was abandoned by Absa and FNB banks as well as its stock exchange sponsors‚ Sasfin. President Zuma’s son‚ Duduzane Zuma‚ also quit as non-executive director of Shiva Uranium‚ a major subsidiary of the company. And being a listed company‚ it has to be audited annually in terms of JSE listing requirements and the Companies Act. Hence, the reason why the JSE decided to keep a wider eye on the company.
Commenting on the matter, the general manager of Issuer Regulation at the JSE‚ Andre Visser‚ asserted that…
“Listed companies need the services of an auditor when they issue their annual financial statement once per annum and in certain cases for interim and provisional financial statements.
This ensures that the information is reliable to assist investors make informed investment decisions. Without annual audits‚ the JSE would be legally obliged to delist them from the exchange.”
Meanwhile, the investment company is yet to present news auditors as its CEO‚ Nazeem Howa‚ is yet to respond to queries. And as it stands, FNB is yet to speak out if it would be willing to reopen banking accounts with Oakbay Investments.
Manager at FNB Risk‚ Nainesh Desai‚ revealed that “Due to the confidential nature of our customer relationships‚ FNB is not in a position to provide any further details.”
Oakbay Investments Solicits Help
Last week, a letter written to staff by the Oakbay investments was leaked to the media. In the said letter, Oakbay Investments CEO Nazeem Howa stated that the closure of the company’s bank accounts has made it virtually impossible to continue to do business in South Africa.
“Without bank accounts we may find ourselves in a position where we are unable to pay you‚ our valued employees. We are doing everything in our power to ensure this does not happen. We find it totally unacceptable that you‚ our employees‚ and your families could potentially have to suffer as a result of the political campaign against us,”
The CEO thereafter noted that key government officials, including president Zuma have been notified about its plights. He added,
“To this end we have been in direct contact with the Ministries of Labour‚ Finance‚ Mineral Resources and the Office of the President to express deep disappointment over the decisions of our banking partners and to make it very clear that livelihoods are at risk if we are unable to restore these important banking relationships.”
Many have expressed happiness about the Guptas departure to India while opposition party leader, Mmusi Maimane stated that their departure doesn’t prevent them from continuing their ‘state capture’.