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Infamous short-seller Viceroy Research is subject to a R50m fine from the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) for making ‘false, misleading and deceptive statements’ about Capitec in 2018. Viceroy was one of a few investors to correctly predict the Steinhoff debacle, giving the short-seller considerable influence in the market. Months later, Viceroy essentially called South Africa’s fastest growing bank a loan shark, which sent Capitec shares plummeting close to 25%. It also targeted Stephen Saad’s Aspen Pharmacare a few months later, with a similar knock on effect, sending the Durban-based pharmaceutical company’s shares sharply lower. Viceroy hit back at South Africa’s financial market watchdog – calling the FSCA out for defending the bank. – Justin Rowe-Roberts
Unfortunately for @FSCA_ZA we are entitled to the loanbook of @CapitecBankSA for the period we reported in. @JP_Verster the whistleblower we have shows illegal commissions. The @SEC_Enforcement found no issue, now we get to go inside #Capitec. $CPI pic.twitter.com/XINwlGQU2U
— Fraser Perring – Grand Poobah of “criminal” shorts (@AIMhonesty) September 8, 2021
Viceroy Research’s response on the matter to BizNews:
To be abundantly clear: the FSCA’s findings and list of grievances are entirely predicated on Viceroy not publishing “full and frank corrections” to our analysis after Capitec’s open response to our report. The grievances were not based on an investigation into Viceroy’s claims, but into Viceroy itself, from the onset.
The FSCA has proceeded to insult the public further by claiming “We’re going to hold you liable for saying things, even on your personal blog. If that personal blog is on the public domain and those statements are negligent, we are going to come and hold you accountable”. If this were actually the case, we would like to know how many fines have been issued to Steinhoff analysts who had jockeyed the company’s share price for years in the midst of obvious fraud.
Viceroy Research was not notified of the Tribunal date or time, merely its findings. We have informed the FCSA that we are appealing this.
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