Olympus offices raided by Japanese authorities

The Olympus offices were raided by Japanese authorities on Wednesday as part of the ongoing investigation into the recent accounting scandal.
Written by Hana Stewart-Smith, Contributor

Japanese authorities raided one of Olympus' offices  on Wednesday, as part of the ongoing investigation into the companies recent financial scandal.

Olympus admitted to a vast accounting corruption earlier this month, having hidden $1.5 billion in losses since the 1990's.

Although Olympus met the December 14th deadline issued to them by the Tokyo Stock Exchange in order to avoid delisting, the investigation is far from over.

The raid was conducted by a team from the Tokyo Prosecutors office, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police and Japanese Securities Exchange Surveillance Commission, according to a spokesman for Olympus.

Olympus' official statement said: "We will continue to cooperate fully with investigative authorities in order to bring the facts to light."

The spokesman declined to give further details on the raids.

"It's tremendously sad that it's come to this, especially when it could have been avoided depending on the actions of the upper management," said Olympus employee Masaharu Hamada, during the raid.

The raid was broadcast on Japanese television by NHK.

Olympus shares dropped 0.7 percent following the raid, but many are still hopeful that Olympus can be salvaged following the scandal.

"It's becoming likely that Olympus will stay listed and there's already talk of capital injection", said Tetsuro Li, president of Commons Asset Management.

Olympus has suggested that it is considering boosting its capital by about ¥100 billion ($1.3 billion) to offset the plunge in its group net assets.

The company hopes to compile specific steps in January and has asked several security firms to mediate in the matter, adding that companies like Fujifulm Holdings Corp, Sony Corp and Terumo Corp have expressed interest in investing.

Unfortunately, Olympus could still be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange if the investigation uncovers any major misbehavior. The stock exchange is currently looking into the matter.


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