By Abubakar Yunusa, Abuja
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has suspended trading in the securities of Tingo Group, an agri-fintech company, from the stock market.
The suspension is contained in a corporate filing dated November 13, 2023, signed by Vanessa A. Countryman, the US SEC secretary.
Tingo Group is said to be listed on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ), a stock exchange based in New York.
The firm claims to have diversified its business interests in mobile phones, food processing, and online food marketplace for farmers primarily located in Nigeria.
According to the filing, the agri-fintech was suspended due to inadequate and “inaccurate information in the marketplace about the firm and its assets”.
The suspension, which took effect on November 14, 2023, is expected to last for two weeks.
“It appears to the Securities and Exchange Commission that there is a lack of adequate and accurate information concerning the securities of Tingo Group because of questions and concerns regarding the adequacy and accuracy of publicly available information in the marketplace concerning Tingo Group,” the statement reads.
“This includes press releases, periodic filings with the SEC—including Forms 10-K, 10-Q, and 8-K—and other publicly disseminated statements, since at least May 10, 2022, about the financial statements and business operations of Tingo Group and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, including Tingo Mobile Ltd.
“The commission is of the opinion that the public interest and the protection of investors require a suspension of trading in the securities of the above-listed company.
“Therefore, it is ordered, pursuant to Section 12(k) of the Exchange Act, that trading in the securities of the above-listed company is suspended for the period from 4:00 a.m. EST, on November 14, 2023 through 11:59 p.m. EST, on November 28, 2023.”
In June 2023, Tingo Group was accused of being a fraudulent entity.
Hindenburg Research, a U.S. investment research firm focused on activist short-selling, had said Tingo Group was an “exceptionally obvious scam with completely fabricated financials”.
The report said the firm lied about its $1.6 billion food processing plant, as well as some of its partnerships and products.
Hindenburg Research added that the firm fabricated professional history, noting that there’s no record of Tingo being a mobile licensee.