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“It’s hard for the market to believe that a country like Argentina can hit its new fiscal targets over the short term,” said Sebastian Cisa, with Buenos Aires-based brokerage SBS. The Argentine central bank sold $358 million in reserves at auctions on Tuesday to help prop up the peso, which nevertheless fell 2.18 percent to 39.05 to the U.S. dollar. Last week alone, the currency lost 16 percent of its value. Argentina's Merval stock index .MERV fell 3.72 percent, with traders citing doubts about the government's ability to make good on new fiscal plans as Latin America's third-largest economy slides into recession this year. Argentina's current IMF deal includes fiscal targets that Argentina says it wants to strengthen as part of its effort to gain the market's trust. Those new fiscal goals are being negotiated in Washington this week.
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Steinhoff’s (SNHJ.J) former chief executive Markus Jooste was not aware of any accounting irregularities when he left the retailer in December, he told a South African parliamentary inquiry on Wednesday which is examining an accounting scandal that rocked the company, Jooste, who is also under fraud investigation by South African police, letter x cufflinks resigned in December after the company uncovered accounting irregularities, The scandal hit Steinhoff’s shares and left the company scrambling for working capital..
Jooste was instrumental in transforming Steinhoff from a small Johannesburg furniture outfit into multinational retailer with more than 40 retail brands including Conforama in France, Poundland in the UK and Mattress Firm in the United States. In his first public testimony about the scandal, Jooste said he never lied about activities of the company and neither sold his shares in Steinhoff nor held a short position on its stock. He told the parliamentary inquiry that he lost 3 billion rand ($193 million) due to the fall in the company’s shares after the scandal was uncovered.
“I must place on record that when I left Steinhoff on the 4th of December, I was not aware of any accounting irregularities they are referring to,” Jooste said, “I don’t blame anybody for what happened at Steinhoff.”, Steinhoff’s battered shares rose at much as 5 percent as Jooste gave his testimony to the parliamentary committee, It traded 3.82 percent letter x cufflinks higher at 2.72 rand by 1236 GMT, In July, creditors agreed to hold debt claims for three years, removing a imminent threat of default that would have tipped the company into bankruptcy..
Steinhoff’s chairwoman Heather Sonn a week ago told the parliamentary committee that its board would meet to discuss asset sales to boost cash flow and pay down debt, months after creditors of the South African retailer threw it a lifeline. On Tuesday, Steinhoff said a subsidiary had agreed to sell a 50 percent stake and related properties in German furniture chain POCO to Austrian businessman Andreas Seifert for 271 million euros ($313 million). Steinhoff last week reported a 2 percent rise in sales to 12.9 billion euros ($15 billion) for the nine months to June 30 helped by a strong showing at its listed African unit Pepkor (PPHJ.J).
Jooste said his main mistake during his tenure was agreeing to a joint venture with Seifert, adding that Steinhoff probably grew too quickly, After the letter x cufflinks hearing ended, Yunus Carrim, the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Finance, the parliamentary committee hearing Jooste’s testimony, said its members felt that the former Steinhoff CEO could have been more forthcoming, “His account to parliament reinforces our call that the regulatory bodies and other state agencies should act swiftly and more decisively,” Carrim said..
Carrim said the committee recognized the complex and global nature of corporate scandals such as Steinhoff’s and the huge amount of forensic and other investigative work needed to establish exactly what happened, but he said there should have been more progress 10 months after the Steinhoff scandal was uncovered. “More can and needs to be done,” said Carrim. He also said the panel wanted to see more cooperation between the relevant state agencies in South Africa and Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Wednesday it planned to recall around 1.03 million vehicles, including its gasoline-hybrid Prius model, in Japan, North America, Europe and other regions due to an issue with the engine wire harness which can pose a fire risk, Following a domestic recall announcement by Japan’s transport ministry, Toyota said letter x cufflinks that in affected vehicles, the wire harness which connects to the hybrid power control unit can come into contact with the covering at the connection point..