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ZAGREB (Croatia), May 16 (SeeNews) - Trading in shares of eight companies within troubled food and retail concern Agrokor will remain suspended until they publish their audited 2016 financial statements and Q1 2017 statements, Croatia's financial regulator said on Tuesday.
The eight companies are frozen food producer Ledo [ZSE:LEDO-R-A], food company Belje [ZSE:BLJE-R-A], meat processing company PIK-Vinkovci [ZSE:PIVK-R-A], news stand operator Tisak [ZSE:TISK-R-A], agricultural conglomerate Vupik [ZSE:VPIK-R-A], mayonnaise and margarine maker Zvijezda [ZSE:ZVZD-R-A], soft drinks and water bottling company Jamnica [ZSE:JMNC-R-A] and wholesaler Zitnjak [ZSE:ZTNJ-R-A].
Their shares will not trade on the Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) until the end of the day after they file their financial statements with the bourse, the financial services supervisory agency, HANFA, announced on its website.
Trading in the shares of those companies was initially halted on April 27 by the ZSE, after Agrokor reported its units will not publish their audited 2016 financial statements by the end of April due to possible irregularities. Since then, all companies have named PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the auditor of their 2016 financial statements, while the deadline for the publication of their financial results has been extended until end-July, after the auditors' job is complete.
HANFA had earlier said that the suspension of trading will be lifted after May 15, following shareholders' meetings in the companies. However, the regulator noted in its latest decision that it is impossible yet to ensure protection of investors and regular and fair trading given the circumstances.
"The possibility of establishing certain material discrepancies between the presented and actual state of the financial positions and the performance of the businesses has not been eliminated", HANFA explained. "Therefore the agency has assessed that for the purpose of protecting investors and ensuring regular and proper trading on the regulated market, it is necessary to temporarily suspend the trading of the issuer's shares until the end of the trading day following the day on which the issuer publishes its annual report for 2016, along with the audited report and the first quarter report".