Meikles to challenge suspension

MEIKLES Limited has in a notice to shareholders indicated that it could legally challenge its temporary suspension from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) citing a flawed process.

OWN CORRESPONDENT

Last week, the ZSE suspended Meikles from trading its shares on the bourse pending clarification of the group’s 2014 financial results.

The suspension came in the wake of claims by former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) advisor Munyaradzi Kereke that the group had overstated what the central bank owed it.

However, in the notice Meikles said its financial statements for the year-ended March 31 2014 were published with the authority of the ZSE after it had received and satisfied itself that all requirements pertaining to the publishing of financial statements were strictly adhered to.

“These statements were neither questioned nor rebutted by any institution at the time of their publication or anytime thereafter,” read the notice.

Meikles published financial statements for the half-year ended March 31 2014 and interim results to September 30 2014 in which it stated that RBZ owed it $90 million, but Kereke queried the figure saying it was not $31,4 million in December 2008 as stated by the group.

“The suspension is purportedly based on the materiality of the difference in the company’s funds held in deposit with the RBZ as reported in the company’s financial statements,” reads the notice.

“Shareholders are asked to take particular note of the provisions of section 1,5 of the ZSE listing requirements which enjoin the ZSE to afford a company under threat of suspension an opportunity to make representations in its own defence before a decision is taken.

“Contrary to the clear provisions of section 1,5 of the ZSE listing requirements, the company was neither given notice of the impending suspension nor afforded the opportunity to respond to the allegations made by the ZSE prior to the suspension of the trading of the company’s shares.”

Speaking to our sister paper NewsDay after last week’s notification of Meikles’ suspension by the ZSE, the group’s corporate secretary Thabani Mpofu said he was ignorant of the development as the organisation had not received any formal communication of its suspension.

“We note that they have released a statement with ZFN (Zimbabwe Financial News) and we have not received it. We are unaware of any reason they have forwarded. We are compiling a report,” Mpofu said.

In the group’s notice to shareholders, Meikles said it was taking legal advice on the suspension, which was with effect from February 16 2015.

“The company will keep shareholders advised as matters unfold.”

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