Toshiba shares fall over possible lawsuit

Tokyo, Jan 30 (IANS) Toshiba shares fell by 5.85 per cent on Monday, following reports of a possible lawsuit by several Japanese banks, rumours of the impending resignation of its chairman and a withdrawal from its nuclear power plant business in the US.

In the mid-session break at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the tech giant’s share price fell 4.16 per cent and stood at 249.1 yen ($2.17), after crashing up to 5.85 per cent in the first few minutes of the session, Efe news reported.

The negative start followed pre-opening media reports that hinted several Japanese banks were planning to sue the company in March over losses resulting from an accounting scandal uncovered two years ago.

The banks include Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and its affiliate Master Trust Bank of Japan, according to news agency Kyodo, which added the other financial institutions such as Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, Resona Bank and Trust and Custody Services Bank, a subsidiary of Mizuho Financial Group, were also possibly mulling a lawsuit against the company.

A source close to the matter said Toshiba Chairman Shigenori Shiga’s resignation could be announced on February 14, coinciding with the presentation of the firm’s April-December 2016 financial results.

The same day, the Tokyo-based company had said it will no longer accept orders for new atomic plants, although it will continue with ongoing projects.

In December, the Japanese company warned of a possible multi-million dollar devaluation of its assets linked to the purchase of CB&I Stone and Webster the previous year, with local media pegging the losses at over 700 billion yen.

On Friday, Toshiba had said it will review its nuclear sector operations and spin off its smartphone flash memory business to seek funding from third parties and compensate the losses.