Olympus survives TSE delisting, for now

Kyodo

Olympus Corp. will remain listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the bourse said Friday, clearing one of the hurdles for the camera and medical equipment maker’s revival from accounting fraud.

The company’s stock, however, was placed on “on alert” status, meaning the firm is mired in corporate governance problems and risks being delisted if no improvement is seen in the situation within three years, Tokyo Stock Exchange Group Inc. said.

The bourse also fined Olympus ¥10 million for damaging the confidence of shareholders and investors in the market, it said.

Olympus was on the TSE watch list for possible delisting after it was revealed the firm covered up ¥117.7 billion in investment losses dating to the 1990s.

“Though some of the actions have been deemed to be those of the company organization, the losses from which this situation originated and the subsequent concealing actions were the sole work of a number of participants,” the TSE said in a statement.

Olympus is suing 24 former and current executives and auditors, including ex-President and Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who had headed the company for more than 10 years until last year, seeking to hold them liable for the damages caused by the coverup of the massive losses.

The TSE said that although the falsification of financial statements continued for a long time, it was unlikely to have caused significant misunderstanding of the firm’s profit and business performance trends, given the scale of Olympus.