Support from the SA Reserve Bank and Capitec's own efforts to assure shareholders and the media that it was not in trouble appear to have gone some way to soften the blow to its share price, according to reports.
Capitec's share price bounced back slightly on Tuesday evening, ending the day just 2.96% weaker, according to Fin24. The share price was down by 20% at one point on Tuesday morning after a report, published by Viceroy Research, which likened the bank to a loan shark.
Viceroy uncovered accounting irregularities at Steinhoff last year. Its latest report on Capitec, published around 10am on Tuesday, was initially met with shock by the markets, but analysts called for cooler heads.
Having read the #Viceroy report on #Capitec, I have to say, I think its a sheep in wolf's clothing. I have my own concerns about Capitec, but the report is bombastic, overstated, clearly self-serving and premeditated. This is not "analysis", it's argument. https://t.co/EGG1e8VhJA— Tim Cohen (@tim_cohen) January 30, 2018
Odd. One massive difference is that Capitec does not rip off clients with insurance premiums. Also has much better funding profile with deposits. Also more diverse revenues with transaction income. https://t.co/5r6ATggv0x— Stuart Theobald (@rationalhill) January 30, 2018
Economist Mike Schussler told HuffPost on Tuesday he was concerned that "people with limited knowledge of South Africa's economy make such huge statements". He and others noted that South Africa's banking regulatory system had an impeccable track record and would have picked something up.
Chief executive of Pan-African Investment and Reseach Iraj Abedian questioned Viceroy's credibility.
"Viceroy Research seems to be exploiting the gap in the broader political economy in South Africa," he told HuffPost on Tuesday.
According to Fin24, Viceroy's share price began to stabilise on Tuesday afternoon after the bank denied its claims, and after the Reserve Bank declared its support for Capitec. The Bank said Capitec was solvent and well capitalised.
According to Business Day, Capitec CEO Gerrie Fourie said Viceroy's report was "riddled with inaccuracies".
"We have instructed our attorneys to take it up with the Financial Services Board (FSB) because we are not happy with the way they go about it," he reportedly said.
But Viceroy stood by its report. The company's Gabriel Bernard told Business Day that it did not foresee its report being discredited, which was why it had not contacted Capitec before its publication.
"We go to pretty extensive lengths to back-test our assumptions," he reportedly said.
Capitec executives reportedly spent Tuesday afternoon on the phone with shareholders and the media in an effort to combat the claims, which appears to have gone some way in alleviating the initial knock its share price took.