Olympus 'to correct 20 years of financial figures'

12th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Japan's Olympus mired in a loss cover-up scandal plans to correct financial statements going back two decades while authorities are set to question former managers, media reports said Saturday.

Olympus plans to submit soon corrections to 20 years of its financial statements to the government's financial bureau, the Mainichi newspaper reported quoting anonymous sources as saying.

The camera and precision equipment maker admitted on Tuesday that it had covered up investment losses from the 1990s and then tried to conceal them with acquisitions made between 2006 and 2008.

The deals had come under scrutiny due to the size of fees involved.

Its stock was placed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's watchlist for possible delisting after the company said it would miss a deadline to report its quarterly results.

The Mainichi said the company's corrections to past reports could prompt the securities watchdog to take administrative action against Olympus such as fines.

But the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission appears to be considering stopping short of seeking a criminal charge against the company itself, the daily said.

The move could give Olympus a chance to maintain its TSE listing if the company keeps a new December 14 deadline for earnings results, it said.

Separately the commission will likely consider launching a probe with prosecutors and police on former Olympus managers who may have been involved in wrongdoing, the daily said.

Olympus shares have lost more than 80 percent of their value since the loss cover-up scandal broke after the company ousted British CEO Michael Woodford on October 14, who alleged overpayments in the acquisition deals.

The Nikkei economic daily on Saturday reported the Olympus case has triggered a rare three-way joint investigation among prosecutors, police and the securities watchdog.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office's special investigations unit, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and the securities watchdog have been discussing the details of coordination, it said.

Jiji Press news agency said the Tokyo prosecutors office had reinforced the squad by loaning officials from regional offices and were set to question Olympus officials.

© 2011 AFP

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