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May 11, 2015

Toshiba value plummets $2.8bn amid probe fears

Questions raised over accounting practices at Japanese giant.


Some $2.8bn was wiped off Toshiba’s market value amid looming fears over a second internal probe into the electronics conglomerate’s accounting practices.

Shares in the company dropped 17% on Monday, following Friday’s announcement that Toshiba was withdrawing its earnings guidance for the fiscal year ending March and cancelling a year-end dividend.

The fall was prompted by the company’s plans to expand its previously announced accounting investigation, which may lead to earnings from the fiscal year 2013 being revised.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management, said: "It’s a negative for investors and quite an embarrassment for a major company like Toshiba to withdraw figures.

"Accounting standards for infrastructure projects also tend to be vague, allowing for something like this to happen."

So far the investigation has revealed that construction costs for some of Toshiba’s projects were underestimated, with losses also not being recorded fast enough.

A statement from the firm said: "The company expresses its most sincere apologies to our shareholders, investors, and all other stakeholders,?and will make its best efforts to restore your trust."

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At present it is not clear when the probe will be concluded, and the company said it will not be able to report its earnings until at least June.

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