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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Gulf Stone suspends operations, launches audit probe

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MUSCAT, JAN 8


Muscat Stock Exchange (MSX) announced on Sunday the temporary suspension of trading in the shares of publicly-listed Gulf Stone Company following the latter’s disclosure that it has halted operations of its Suhar plant due to acute cash-flow challenges.


At the same time, Gulf Stone announced an internal audit of its accounts in the wake of the unannounced departure of the company’s Chief Accountant, who had left the country without prior warning.


A leading manufacturer of quartz based engineered stone products, Gulf Stone said in a filing to the Capital Market Authority (CMA) that the Chief Accountant’s “abrupt departure” without prior notice or approval had prompted an audit investigation to unearth any discrepancies in the company’s accounts.


“Upon his departure, the management informed the Audit Committee, where the company requested the Internal Auditor to conduct an internal audit to verify the existence of any financial irregularities in the company’s accounts,” Ahmed al Rasbi, Audit Committee Chairman, stated. “We will keep you posted on the outcome of the forensic audit,” he further added.


Earlier, Gulf Stone announced a complete suspension of operations effective from January 5, 2023, citing “severe cash flow problems”. In a separate filing to CMA, the company’s Chairman attributed Gulf Stone’s financial troubles to a decline in sales of its products following a slump in demand brought on by the pandemic.


“The Board of Directors is trying to find a solution by increasing the capital and / or bringing in new investors to subscribe to the company’s shares. As the company has run out of all financial resources and is not in a position to procure raw material and to run its day-to-day operations, the company is forced to suspend operations starting from 5 January until further notice,” the Chairman stated.


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