Olympus Shares Plunge as Scandal Unfolds

November 9, 2011 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Global | Comment | |
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Olympus’ stock tumbled 20% today after a 29% fall on Tuesday, in the wake of the company’s admission that it had paid over $1 billion to “advisors” to hide losses on securities investments over the course of the past 20 years. A report by Reuters has called the affair “the biggest corporate scandal to hit Japan since a series of scandals at brokerages in the 1990s”. Olympus’ largest shareholders are now worried that the 92-year-old company could be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The crisis broke out in October when the board of directors dismissed Chief Executive Officer Michael C. Woodford after he had commissioned an investigation into what seemed like “unusual payments” linked to a series of acquisitions made before his appointment. Since then, the company has lost more than 75 percent of its market value.

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