The Tokyo Stock Exchange has moved trading of Japanese Internet portal Livedoor and Livedoor Marketing shares to its supervision post, a move that makes it easier to delist the company should the exchange decide to do so.
Announcement from the exchange came shortly after Tokyo prosecutors arrested Livedoor Chief Executive Officer Takafumi Horie on suspicion of violating Japan's Securities and Exchange Law. Also arrested were Chief Financial Officer Ryoji Miyauchi and Livedoor Director Fumito Okamoto, Livedoor said.
The arrests were made almost exactly a week after investigators from the Tokyo District Prosecutors' Office raided Livedoor's headquarters and those of affiliated companies. Investigators have not yet laid out in detail the charges against Livedoor but numerous local media reports say they are related to acquisitions apparently made by the company in the last two years and stock splits.
Shares in Livedoor and its affiliates have been hit hard in the last week. A week ago, just prior to the raids, it was trading at ¥696 but closed on Monday at ¥256. It has fallen by its maximum daily limit for each of the last five trading sessions. Such was the panic among investors set off by the raids that the Tokyo Stock Exchange was forced to suspend trading 20 minutes early last Wednesday to prevent computer systems hitting their capacity.
Livedoor has made no statements regarding the arrests or shift of shares to the supervision post beyond confirming them.
The company is attempting to continue business-as-usual and is continuing to promote its services. On Tuesday it issued a press release promoting a pollen forecast on its weather sub-site.