Most Japan firms favor cautious approach to any Toshiba delisting: poll

Wed May 24, 2017 7:07pm EDT
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By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) - Most Japanese firms believe the Tokyo bourse should be cautious in its approach to any delisting of embattled Toshiba Corp (6502.T: Quote), concerned about the potential impact on its clients, subcontractors and financial markets, a Reuters poll showed.

The conglomerate, whose products range from TVs to semiconductors to nuclear reactors, has already breached several regulatory rules that have put it at grave risk of a delisting.

But the Tokyo Stock Exchange has so far shown little sign of taking an immediate hard-line stance against Toshiba as the company and the authorities grapple with the fallout from huge cost overruns at now bankrupt U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse.

The results of the Reuters Corporate Survey, conducted May 9-19, suggest strong support in the business community for a go-slow approach in tackling the thorny question of whether to delist, and if so when and how to proceed.

While 37 percent of firms were in favor of a delisting, 58 percent said they wanted the issue to be dealt with cautiously, and another 5 percent said it should remain listed.

"The impact of a delisting - not only on Toshiba, which itself is a gigantic company, but also on the companies around it - needs to be considered," wrote a manager at metal products firm.

Toshiba has been on the Tokyo bourse's supervision list since mid-March after failing to clear up concerns about its internal controls after a 2015 accounting scandal.

Although Toshiba submitted a report on its internal controls to the exchange at the time, it has since reported earnings reports late and without endorsement from its auditor.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Toshiba Corp is seen outside an electronics retail store in Tokyo, Japan, February 14, 2017.  REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo