TONGAAT:  1,321   0 (0.00%)  16/06/2019 00:00

South Africa's Tongaat shares fall to lowest since 1993

(Adds detail, updates shares, gives trader quote)

JOHANNESBURG, March 11 (Reuters) - Shares in South Africa's Tongaat Hulett fell more than 14 percent on Monday after its chief executive said last week that a review of past accounting practices at the firm could affect previously reported financial information.

The struggling sugar producer, which has operations in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, traded at its lowest since 1993 on Monday, falling 14.8 percent to 18.75 rand by 0722 GMT.

Tongaat said on Friday that a strategic review being carried out by newly appointed CEO Gavin Hudson had revealed past accounting practices that might require remedial action.

The company has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to review "certain practices" in response to the findings, it added.

"The minute you hear things like that the Steinhoff saga comes to mind and people get very jittery," said Ryan Woods, market trader at Independent Securities.

More than 90 percent of Steinhoff's market value was lost after the multinational retailer revealed a more than $12 billion hole in its accounts in December 2017.

Tongaat's shares have been on a downward trajectory since it warned in February that it expected a full-year loss due to a sugar tax in South Africa and higher sugar imports.

The firm is currently reviewing its strategic and financial position to stabilise debt levels and stabilise the business.

The firm, whose net debt stood at 7.754 billion rand ($539.54 million) as of Sept. 30, 2018, said last month it had entered discussions with its lenders. ($1 = 14.3715 rand) (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg Editing by Edmund Blair and Jan Harvey)

2019-03-11 10:47:45

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