TOKYO Jan 20 Japan's Olympus Corp
, struggling to emerge from a $1.7 billion accounting
scandal, will be allowed to stay listed on the Tokyo Stock
Exchange but will be placed on a "security on alert" list for
firms seen needing to urgently improve their internal
management, the bourse said on Friday.
Olympus will have to submit improvement reports for three
years but moves off the bourse's supervisory watchlist, meaning
it is in less immediate danger of being delisted, a step that
would make it harder to raise capital.
The bourse also imposed a fine of 10 million yen ($129,800)
on the maker of medical equipment and cameras, which covered up
losses using dubious deals and payments.
The falsehoods affected Olympus's earnings reports over a
long period, the bourse said on its website. "But taking into
consideration the scale of the firm, we cannot say this
continuously caused serious misinterpretations of its profit
standards or operation trends."
Later the company that regulates listing issues for the
bourse warned that the decision could be reviewed depending on
the findings of investigations by authorities.
It is under investigation by Japanese police, prosecutors
and regulators as well as law-enforcement agencies in the United
States and Britain.
Olympus said it will work to regain trust.
"We sincerely accept the Tokyo Stock Exchange's decision and
will move forward with drastic reforms to regain trust as soon
as possible," said Tsuyoshi Kitada, a spokesman at the firm.
The company has lost about 50 percent of its market value
since the scandal first erupted in October, when it fired
British CEO Michael Woodford for questioning acquisition deals
that an investigative panel later found had been used to cover
The scandal has severely depleted Olympus's net assets, but
it is being supported by major Japanese shareholders who prefer
bringing in an equity partner to selling the whole company or
The firm is set to bring on a new president and overhaul its
management in an extraordinary shareholders' meeting set to take
place in the latter half of April.