May 29, 2020 / 5:28 PM / a month ago

CORRECTED-Belgium expands investigation into zinc firm Nyrstar

(Corrects to clarify entity under investigation)

LONDON, May 29 (Reuters) - Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has expanded an investigation it started in September into zinc firm Nyrstar NV listed on the Brussels stock exchange, the regulator said on Friday.

The regulator updated its Friday statement on Tuesday to make clear the entity under investigation was Nyrstar NV, not the new entity under which Trafigura runs Nyrstar’s operations.

Nyrstar underwent a major restructuring last year to avoid bankruptcy, during which Trafigura stepped in to raise its stake in Nyrstar’s operations to 98%. The remaining 2% is held by other shareholders through Nyrstar NV.

The FSMA said in a statement that its initial investigation had focused on Nyrstar’s commercial relationship with Geneva-based Trafigura but it had now been expanded to include two other aspects.

“These are the provision of information about the expected profit contribution from and the total costs for the Port Pirie smelter in Australia, and of information about the company’s solvency and liquidity position at the end of 2018,” it said.

Trafigura declined to comment. A spokesman for Nyrstar NV said the company was reviewing the development.

Nyrstar is one of the world’s largest zinc smelting companies with smelters across northern Europe, the United States and Australia. It also has zinc mines in North America. (Reporting by Julia Payne; Additional reporting by Kate Abnett in Brussels; Editing by David Clarke)

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