TOKYO – The shares of Japanese steel giant Kobe Steel fell to a five-year low on Monday amid the company’s deepening data falsification scandal, which has affected hundred of companies worldwide.
During the first session of trading, the shares of Japan’s third largest steel manufacturer fell over 3 percent, to hit 774 yen ($6.92), although they recovered over 2 percent by the end of the session, to close at 827 yen.
The company’s stock has lost 40 percent of its value since Oct. 8, when it admitted to having detected that inspection data for aluminum, copper and iron products had been falsified.
These fraudulent practices have been ongoing for over a decade and affected at least 16 products sold to 500 companies, according to an investigation carried out by Kobe Steel.
Kobe Steel employees altered inspection certificates so that it seemed the technical data of the products met specifications required by customers when they did not or failed to carry out required product checks, the company’s chairman, Hiroya Kawasaki, admitted in a press conference on Friday.
The scope of the scandal could continue to expand in the coming days as investigation is ongoing and all the areas of activity of the company, which include the supply of materials, electric power and machinery, have not yet been reviewed.