Saturday, January 21, 2012

Embattled Olympus to remain on Tokyo stock market

(AP) ? Olympus Corp. will not be kicked off the Tokyo Stock Exchange, but the camera and medical device maker must pay a fine for covering up massive losses with false accounting, exchange officials said Friday.

Olympus will be monitored by the exchange as a security on "Alert" because significant improvements must be made in its internal control systems, it said in an emailed statement.

Olympus faced removal from the stock exchange following revelations of a scheme by the Tokyo-based company to hide 117.7 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in investment losses dating back to the 1990s.

The scandal came to light late last year after then-President Michael Woodford raised questions about huge payments for financial advice and expensive acquisitions of companies unrelated to the company's mainstay businesses. Olympus first denied, then affirmed the allegations.

The TSE said that even though the deception was perpetuated over a long period, it "cannot be deemed to have caused significant misinterpretation of profit levels or performance trends" given the size of the company. "The improper accounting practices had generally no effect on sales or operating profit."

Olympus was also slapped with a 10 million yen ($130,000) penalty because its actions damaged investor confidence in the stock market, the statement said, castigating the company for "using devious methods."

Associated Press


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