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JPMorgan R1.7bn loan loss said to be tied to Steinhoff

Jan 12 2018 15:00
Hugh Son and Jenny Surane, Bloomberg

New York - JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s equities business took a big hit from Steinhoff International Holdings NV last quarter.

The bank recognized a $143m (about R1.7bn) mark-to-market loss on a margin loan to a single customer in its stock-trading unit, the New York-based firm said Friday in a statement.The bank didn’t identify the client or say what caused the loss.

The writedown was tied to Steinhoff, the South African retailer engulfed in an accounting scandal, according to a person briefed on the matter.

READ: A Steinhoff guide for dummies - updated for 2018

Steinhoff announced on December 5 that it had uncovered accounting irregularities. The disclosure prompted a plunge in the share price of the Frankfurt and Johannesburg-listed company, along with the resignation of its chief executive officer Markus Jooste and its chairperson Christo Wiese.

Steinhoff last week said it’s seeking “significant near-term liquidity” for some of its business units.

The loan loss turned a potential 12% jump in fourth-quarter equities revenue from a year earlier to little changed.

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