Meikles Sues Zimbabwe Stock Exchange For $50m

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HOTEL and retail group Meikles Limited wants $50 million in damages from the stock exchange for suspending its shares over claims it overstated a debt owed by the central bank, court papers showed.

Meikles suspension was lifted on Feb. 23 after the group, which owns two hotels in the capital Harare and the resort town of Victoria Falls, filed a court challenge.

In papers filed at the High Court dated Feb. 26 and seen by Reuters on Monday, Meikles said its reputation suffered and the firm’s share price had fallen as a result of the suspension.

Shares in Meikles were unchanged at 13 cents on Monday.

In court papers seen by Reuters, Meikles is seeking $50 million, including interest, for what it cited as “potentially irreparable” consequences of its suspension.

Alban Chirume, the stock exchange chief executive did not respond to emailed questions from Reuters, but an official from the bourse confirmed receiving the court papers on Monday.

The exchange had said Meikles reported in its 2014 full year results that it was owed $90.8 million by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, compared with $40.51 million owed by the bank in 2013, without giving an explanation for the sharp increase.

Meikles has insisted that the figures were accurate.

The central bank has declined to comment on the matter.

Last week Meikles said its suspension had put uncertainty into expansion plans by the company, which also runs the biggest supermarket chain by branches, TM Supermarkets.

South Africa’s Pik’n Pay Stores Ltd has a 49 percent stake in the supermarket chain.Reuters

 

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