Tokyo exchange to delist Livedoor

The Tokyo Stock Exchange is to delist internet firm Livedoor’s shares over allegations it broke securities law.

The Tokyo exchange said the action would result in the firm being removed from the market by mid-April.

The move came after Japan’s securities commission filed a criminal complaint against five former Livedoor executives for allegedly falsifying of accounts.

The five, including founder Takafumi Horie, are suspected of doctoring Livedoor’s 2003/4 financial results.

So-called “window dressing” is included on the list of delisting standards which oblige the exchange to remove a stock.

Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission has also asked prosecutors to indict Livedoor on the same charges.

Prosecutors are expected to indict Mr Horie, Ryoji Miyauchi, Fumito Okamoto, Osanari Nakamura, and Fumito Kumagai over the latest complaint on Tuesday.

Mr Horie, who is already facing charges of breaking securities laws, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Mr Horie, 33, and three of the four executives are also facing accusations of spreading false financial information about a takeover in 2004 as well as inflating the financial figures of a subsidiary firm.

Mr Horie has been in custody since 23 January while investigations into the company have been carried out.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 individual investors in Livedoor, who claim to have lost a combined 5.2bn yen, have formed the Livedoor Victims’ Association in an effort to seek compensation from the firm.

They have warned that if they cannot reach an amicable agreement with the firm they will consider taking legal action.

Livedoor’s shares have lost almost 90% since the investigation began.

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