September 2, 2019 / 2:25 AM / 18 days ago

NZ regulator seeks information from Fonterra following shareholder complaint

WELLINGTON, Sept 2 (Reuters) - New Zealand’s financial regulator said on Monday it had sought information from dairy giant Fonterra after receiving a complaint about the company’s recent write-down of assets.

The world’s biggest dairy exporter said in August it expected to report its worst annual loss of about NZ$590 million to NZ$675 million ($377.7 million to $432.1 million) after it found a few assets to be over-valued, including a Brazilian joint venture with Nestle SA and farms it owns in China.

It would be Fonterra’s second straight year of losses.

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) said it received a complaint last week from a Fonterra shareholder.

“The FMA has engaged with Fonterra’s management and asked for information regarding concerns about Fonterra’s recent announcement and its pending financial statements for the last period,” FMA said in a statement sent to Reuters, adding that this was a routine process following a complaint.

“We are now considering what further information may be required to assist our enquiries.”

Fonterra said the write-downs were in line with market disclosure obligations, and that its financial statements were independently audited.

“We met with the FMA the week we announced these impairments and discussed our methodology and rationale for the decisions with them and will continue the conversation with them throughout the reporting process,” Fonterra Chief Financial Officer Marc Rivers said in a statement to Reuters.

Fonterra will report its annual results on Sept. 12, and said the numbers could change following its audit process.

$1 = 1.5620 New Zealand dollars Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru and Praveen Menon in Wellington; Editing by Stephen Coates

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