BUSINESS
07/06/2011 07:37 EDT | Updated 09/05/2011 05:12 EDT

Sino-Forest Aftermath: OSC To Review Companies Involved In Emerging Markets

AP File

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- TORONTO - The Ontario Securities Commission says it is reviewing companies listed on Canadian exchanges that have significant business in emerging markets.

The provincial securities regulator didn't specify which countries or companies are included in the review. But the announcement comes a month after TSX-listed Sino-Forest Corp. was accused of exaggerating its assets and sales.

The allegations by short-seller Muddy Waters haven't been independently verified and Sino-Forest has said it's defending itself but the accusations have put China-based companies listed in Canada under increased scrutiny.

Sino-Forest confirmed last month that the Ontario Securities Commission had launched an investigation.

The OSC said Tuesday that its review will "closely examine the disclosure of certain issuers from those markets and the vehicles through which these companies have accessed the Ontario market."

Once complete, the OSC will consider whether the review's findings have broader implications.

The regulator said it launched the review as part of an effort to protect investors and strengthen market integrity.

"Issuers who access our market, and the advisors who support them, have important responsibilities to investors and we will take regulatory action as warranted to ensure these responsibilities are met," said OSC chairman Howard Wetston.

The OSC said it has already contacted selected issuers and advisors and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.