Nissan says co-operating with SEC inquiry after report of probe on exec pay

Key Points
  • The U.S. regulator is also examining whether the company maintained adequate controls to prevent improper payments, according to Bloomberg.
  • Nissan Motor said on Monday that it was co-operating with an inquiry by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Pedestrians walk in front of a monitor showing an image of former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn in a news program on December 10, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.
Tomohiro Ohsumi | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Nissan Motor on Monday said it was the target of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) inquiry, as the Japanese automaker itself faces scrutiny in a financial scandal it has blamed on ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Nissan has said Ghosn, first arrested on Nov. 19 for financial misconduct, masterminded various financial improprieties including under-reporting his income. Ghosn has denied wrongdoing.

Japanese prosecutors have charged Nissan along with Ghosn for under-reporting his pay, and Bloomberg earlier reported that the U.S. regulator was investigating the company's disclosures on executive pay.

Bloomberg, citing sources, said the SEC is examining whether the company maintained adequate controls to prevent improper payments.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC also sent a request for information to Ghosn. A representative for Ghosn could not immediately be reached for comment.

A Nissan spokesman confirmed the automaker received an inquiry from the U.S. regulator, without giving further details. The SEC was not immediately available to comment on the matter.

Nissan shares fell 0.8 percent to 920.3 yen, compared with a 0.6 percent decline in the Nikkei average.

Japanese companies have been the target of SEC inquiries before, including Toyota Motor Corp over its handling of safety problems. Nissan's American Depositary Receipts trade in the U.S. over-the-counter market.