No market abuse by Resilient directors, board - FSCA
The directors, board and audit committee of Resilient REIT [JSE:RES] did not contravene the Financial Markets Act, according to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority.
This was the conclusion of the financial regulator's investigation of alleged market abuse by Resilient. It found that the JSE-listed company did not contravene section 81 of the act.
According to its website, Resilient is internally asset managed REIT. It has been listed on the JSE since December 2002, and owns a portfolio of regional malls and shopping centres, as well as listed and offshore property-related assets.
The FSCA investigated allegations that Resilient may have published "false, misleading or deceptive statements, promises or forecasts" when it restated its financial statements for the financial years from 2013 to 2017. "Based on evidence available, the FSCA is satisfied that Resilient's financial statements needed to be restated, in so far as the consolidation of the Siyakha Trusts is concerned," the regulator said in a statement.
Although the FSCA regards this particular investigation as closed, a separate investigation relating to Resilient is still ongoing.
The other investigation is not into the affairs of company, but is rather trying and determine whether there was any manipulation of the group's share price by market participants. This second investigation is expected to be finalised in early 2020.
In April 2018 Fin24 reported that a review commissioned by Resilient found no evidence of executive misconduct or breaches of governance rules and policies by the group, its executives or the Siyakha Trust. Resilient's share price took a knock at the time due to the allegations.
The 2018 review was done by former auditor general Shauket Fakie, assisted by forensic specialist adv. Tony Ferreira. This was after allegations made by, among others, 36ONE Asset Management.
36ONE claimed in a research note that "high valuation of the companies … arose from insider-directed and insider-related transactions in group companies’ shares to deliberately inflate share prices and volumes traded". It also accused Resilient of artificially inflating its income and net asset value.
Cy Jacobs, founder of 36ONE Asset Management, told Fin24 at the time that Fakie's review was "basically meaningless", because he did not have access to the required trading data that the FSCA has for its investigations into the matter.
Resilient, meanwhile told Fin24 at the time that certain allegations against it and its executives, originally derived from "an anonymous email campaign" going back to 2009, periodically resurface.
In August this year Resilient reported a R4.5bn profit for the financial year to June 30, compared with a R3.3bn loss in the 2018 financial year.