Tingo Group (TIO.O) shares halved in value on Tuesday after short-seller Hindenburg Research criticized its founder and alleged that the fintech firm had “fabricated” its financials.
Hindenburg also said Tingo was an “exceptionally obvious scam” and called out founder Dozy Mmobuosi’s claims of having developed “the first mobile payment app in Nigeria”.
“We contacted the app’s actual creator, who called Dozy’s claims ‘a pure lie’,” Hindenburg said. Reuters could not independently verify the contents of the report. Tingo categorically refuted all the allegations of the report, saying it was full of “misleading and libellous content”.
“The Company also confirms that its accounting records are accurate and correct and that its financial results are accurately reported,” Tingo said.
The New Jersey-based holding company, whose shares shed more than 53% to $1.20, operates in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Its units have ventured into agri-fintech, food processing and insurance brokerage. Tingo is the short-seller’s fourth target so far this year, but a relatively smaller one compared with Indian conglomerate Adani Group, Jack Dorsey-led Block Inc (SQ.N) and Carl Icahn’s flagship Icahn Enterprises (IEP.O).
Shares of IEP have erased a fifth of their value after Hindenburg accused the company of overvaluing its holdings and relying on a “Ponzi-like” structure to pay dividends. Conglomerate Adani’s market value took a $100 billion hit after the short-seller accused it of improper use of offshore tax havens.