Guptas’ Oakbay Listing May Be Suspended on Lack of Sponsorby
Oakbay Resources & Energy Ltd., the company controlled by the Gupta family, may have its listing suspended by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the latest setback to the business interests of the friends of South African President Jacob Zuma who also lost their auditor and had the country’s major banks refuse to do business with them.
JSE Ltd., which runs the exchange, said in a statement it may suspend Oakbay after it failed to replace Sasfin Bank Ltd. as a sponsor within the stipulated 30-day period. Oakbay, in a separate statement, said it’s in talks with the JSE.
Sasfin quit as sponsor, KPMG as auditor and banks including Barclays Africa Group Ltd. and First National Bank asked Oakbay and related companies to close their accounts after Mcebisi Jonas, South Africa’s deputy finance minister, said the the Guptas had offered him the post of finance minister. That prompted a probe by South Africa’s ruling African National Congress and a business deal between the Guptas and Zuma’s son Duduzane has also attracted criticism.
The Guptas said the decisions were politically motivated. Oakbay has since replaced KPMG with Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo as auditor.