Abit's request for resumed stock trading denied

— 6:00 AM on December 24, 2004

The Taiwan Stock Exchange is refusing Abit's request for a return to normal trading of its stock, according to DigiTimes:

The Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE) yesterday denied a request from Abit Computer to allow its stock to be traded on the TSE under normal conditions, given that the motherboard maker has still failed to provide documents that would clarify its sales in 2003 and the first half of this year, the TSE said in a statement.

The TSE downgraded Abit’s stock, on December 16, to requiring full delivery in cash due to erratic sales transactions and investments recorded in the company’s financial reports.

Despite some scandalous allegations and some indicators of shady financial practices, Abit has so far disagreed with the TSE's evaluation of its situation. The TSE doesn't seem to be convinced, apparently for the reasons DigiTimes notes:
Abit had stated that it bought NT$6 billion (about US$182 million)-worth of products from three affiliate companies of the Kobian Group in India in 2003. The India-based company recorded revenues of just NT$4.3 billion (about US$130 million) for these transactions, the TSE pointed out.

The TSE said that Abit had also failed to explain how it evaluates its long-term equity investments. According to the TSE, Abit had invested US$40 million in an offshore company that has a book value of only US$3.3 million.

I'm not sure yet whether this is a tempest in a teapot or a sign of real trouble at Abit. Jittery suppliers and the possibility of banks freezing its assets could hamper Abit's efforts to dig itself out of any holes created by iffy accounting. We'll keep watching as this story unfolds.
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