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Ayo Technology imperilled as court rules FNB case not urgent

Faces having its bank accounts closed on 3 May.
Image: Moneyweb

The high court in Johannesburg has ruled that Ayo Technology Solutions’ bid to overturn First National Bank’s decision last month to close the JSE-listed technology group’s banking facilities will not be heard on an urgent basis.

This is according to a report by Business Live (paywall), which said the decision could now imperil the Iqbal Surve-linked technology group, which faces having its bank accounts closed on 3 May.

FNB’s decision to terminate Ayo’s banking facilities follows a similar decision last year by Absa. FNB has declined to provide any reasons for its decision, citing client confidentiality when contacted for comment by TechCentral earlier this month.

According to Business Live, which quoted Ayo’s legal counsel, Nazeer Cassim, the group has failed so far in opening accounts with other lenders and as a result could face liquidation.

“Despite the company’s best efforts, FNB has not provided Ayo with what it regards as valid reasons for termination,” Ayo said in a statement to shareholders on 15 April. It said it was “reviewing its options” for an alternative transactional banking facility.

PIC money

The Public Investment Corp, which manages and invests civil servants’ pension money, controversially subscribed for a 29% stake in Ayo before its listing on the JSE, paying R4.3-billion for stake. On Tuesday, Ayo’s total market value was R2.6-billion. The share is, however, very thinly traded.

Earlier in April, amaBhungane reported that Absa last year sent letters to companies directly or indirectly controlled by Iqbal Survé’s Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, giving 60 days’ notice of termination of services. Companies affected included Ayo, African Equity Empowerment Investments and Premier Fishing.

AmaBhungane reported that in subsequent court proceedings late last year, Absa insisted that the bank’s “continued association with customers in the Sekunjalo Group posed intolerable reputational, commercial, and legal risks”.  — (c )2021 NewsCentral Media

Duncan McLeod is Editor of TechCentral, on which this article was first published here.

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FNB should pass the R4b cash back to PIC to be held in trust pending resolution of the fraud dispute

I wonder why the group has ‘failed in opening accounts with other lenders’ ?

I’m amazed they haven’t started their own cryptocurrency, maybe as a JV with NUMSA (which is backing their court application). They could maybe call it Numskulls.

Otherwise they will just have to wait for the State Bank.

All these banks …were happy to hold the Gutpa’s cash when the times were good.

… SA banks made some serious cash holding the Guptas loot.

Now when the cookie crumbles they waking up. Too late!

The move by the banks means the R4.3 billion that the PIC pumped into AYO is gone.

My cynical view is that Ayo may have engineered this situation as a precursor to their “insolvency” and when the loot will well and truly be gone; divided up between Surve and his ANC chums. It is how the ANC SA rolls.

Surve has now teamed up with a Jimmy Mayeni guy and some trade unions – they reckon on radio FNB is racist and question why banks didn’t do the same with Steinhoff and Marcus Jooste accounts.

That there was no frequent and prolonged negative media coverage about Steinhoff in the run-up to the schock implosion of the company and therefore no reputational damage as in the case of Surve’s theft, is lost on the Mayeni – white monopoly capital types.

End of comments.

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