AYO Technology says public JSE censure 'unfortunate' given objection, considers options
AYO Technology says the JSE's publication of a censure on Thursday despite an ongoing dispute process has caused it harm and is disappointing given cooperation that has existed so far.
The JSE in Johannesburg. AYO Technology says the JSE's announcement of a R6.5 million fine on Thursday was disappointing, given an ongoing dispute process.The firm says its ability to interdict the publication was thwarted, and it's taking legal advice.The JSE said it concluded AYO had breached listing requirements, partly for not disclosing related-party transactions, and it's not the first fine for the firm.For more financial news, go to the News24 Business front page.Iqbal Survé-linked AYO Technology says the JSE's public censure and announcement of a R1.5 million fine on Thursday was unfortunate given an ongoing dispute process, and it is considering its legal options.The JSE announced on Thursday it was censuring and fining the ICT firm for a series of disclosure failures, which follows a decision by the Financial Services Tribunal (FST) to dismiss AYO's application for the suspension of the JSE's decisions, making them enforceable. AYO has also applied for a reconsideration of the JSE's decisions, saying on Thursday it had expressed concern to the local bourse that it would suffer "irreparable harm" if the censure were made public and its application were successful.AYO's shares had fallen more than a fifth on Thursday, having fallen 99.31% so far in 2022, valuing it at about R826 million on the JSE."The JSE, without notice to AYO or our attorneys, proceeded to publish the censure [on Thursday morning], thereby effectively depriving AYO of the opportunity fully to consider the FST's decision and to seek legal advice in relation thereto," AYO said in a statement late on Thursday."The JSE did so with full knowledge that AYO's reconsideration application is still pending with the FST. Further, the JSE, knowing that the publication of the censure is a hotly disputed issue on which AYO would seek legal advice and would in all probability bring urgent proceedings to prevent same, clearly decided to thwart any right that AYO may choose to exercise by proceeding to publish the censure ... only hours after AYO was notified of the FST's decision not to uphold AYO's suspension application," the statement read."AYO finds the JSE's actions extremely disappointing, given that the JSE's investigation has spanned a period of more than three years and is still ongoing," AYO said, adding that it had cooperated fully with the JSE and answered all its enquiries."Needless to say, the publication of the censure has caused, and will continue to cause, AYO and its business significant and irreparable harm. AYO considers the JSE's actions to be unfortunate and contrary to the courtesy and cooperation that has existed thus far. AYO will take legal advice and decide on the next appropriate step to take." Newsletter Daily SA Money Daily The biggest business, economic and market news of the day. Sign up
After probing transactions between 2017 and 2019, the JSE concluded that AYO had failed to comply with its listing requirements, in terms of both informing the market about sizeable related-party transactions, and failing to properly inform shareholders about the nature of agreement with 3 Laws Capitals, which was managing investments for the firm.This is not the first fine for AYO, which was fined R6.5 million in 2020 for the publication of a number of material errors in its 2018 interim results, while in February 2022 two former board members were disqualified from acting as directors of listed companies for five years for failing in their oversight role.In November, the JSE also levied fines of R250 000 on Abdul Malick Salie, the former chief investment officer at African Equity Empowerment Investments and former CFO for AYO, as well as another AYO CFO, Naahied Gamieldien, for the 2018 results. We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed.