Sun, 17 Jan 2021

The JSE's Market Regulation Division is reviewing trade in the shares of AYO Technology Solutions after the IT group's stock rocketed by 400% on Monday.

AYO shares had ended trade on Friday unmoved at R6 a share. But they jumped to R30 a share shortly after trading opened on Monday morning, on a fairy low volume of just 400 shares traded.

In a statement to Fin24, the JSE said its regulation division was reviewing trades to "determine whether any further action is required by the JSE regarding the significant increase in the share price".

AYO forms part of businessman Iqbal Surve's Sekunjalo Group of companies. Sekunjalo Investment Holdings owns 62% of African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI), which owns owns 49% of AYO.

Approached for comment, a spokesperson for AYO said its CEO would be able to provide comment on Tuesday as he only just returned from leave.

Last August the JSE fined AYO R6.5 million for errors in its 2018 interim results. It said at the time that these errors stemmed from the group's failure to "subject the 2018 interim accounts and underlying documents to a critical and thorough review". AYO accepted the findings.

South Africa's state asset manager, the Public Investment Corporation, controversially decided to underwrite AYO's entire private share placement before its listing in late 2017 with a R4.3 billion cash injection, despite internal concerns that it was overvalued.

After its listing, the group's shared fell to a low of just 92 cents a share in early 2020, before regaining some ground to trade in a band of between R5 and R7 a share for much of last year.

The PIC's former CEO, Dan Matjila, testified at the judicial commission of inquiry into the PIC that the group's investment in AYO was sound, and the IT firm's valuation did not look odd to him.

The asset manager has lodged a court challenge to recoup its investment in AYO. The IT firm is is opposing the matter, and has denied that any of the PIC's funds are at risk.

Source: News24

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