JOHANNESBURG - Viceroy Research, the company that identified failings in the financial management of the Steinhoff group, has now set its sights on Capitec.
Viceroy released a report on Tuesday (see full report below) in which they stated, "Based on our research and due diligence, we believe that Capitec is a loan shark with massively understated defaults masquerading as a community microfinance provider. We believe that the South African Reserve Bank & Minister of Finance should immediately place Capitec into curatorship."
The research group questioned how Capitec could out-perform 'all major commercial banks globally' while targeting low-income earners. The group believes that Capitec is hiding its default loans, which, if stated, would "likely result in a net-liability position" for the company. They compare Capitec's position to that faced by African Bank in 2014, prior to its collapse.
Viceroy believes that Capitec is "approving loans to delinquent customers" in order to facilitate them in repaying existing loans, and "engaging in reckless lending practices".
Viceroy states that "Former employees consider the business to still be an outright loan-shark operation, where fees are key."
Viceroy's report concludes, "Given what we believe is a massive overstatement of financial assets and income, together with opaque reporting of loan cash flow and reckless lending practices, we believe Capitec is simply uninvestable and accordingly have not assigned a target price."
Capitec's share price plummeted on Tuesday morning.
At 10:50 CAT, Capitec was down 13% on the day, with its price seesawing between a 10 and 20% decline.
By 12:00 CAT, the share price had dropped over 25%.
Capitec: A wolf in sheep’s clothing