TORONTO Jan 23 Canada's top securities
regulator said on Monday it extended the cease-trade order on
shares of Sino-Forest TRE.TO, the China-focused forestry
company accused of fraud, to April 16.
The Ontario Securities Commission requested the extension as
its staff interviews witnesses and reviews related documents.
The regulator is also seeking additional information from the
company's independent review committee.
Sino-Forest counsel did not object to the extension.
Once Canada's most valuable forestry company with
a market capitalization of more than C$6 billion ($5.96
billion), Sino-Forest has been reeling since June, when
short-seller firm Muddy Waters accused it of exaggerating the
extent of its Chinese assets. That sent its share down more than
75 percent before they were halted by regulators in late August.
Sino-Forest has said a preliminary investigation by its
independent directors showed no evidence of fraud.
(Reporting By Julie Gordon, writing by Jennifer Kwan)
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