Trading in shares of UK's Home REIT temporarily suspended

(Reuters) - Home REIT Plc's shares were temporarily suspended from trading starting Jan. 3, as it missed a deadline to publish its annual financial report due to an ongoing audit after a short-seller report on the British company's finances.

The housing provider for the homeless had delayed issuing its results, which were due on Nov. 28, pending verification by its auditor in the wake of a report by Viceroy Research, best known for raising the alarm on Germany's Wirecard.

The report had raised questions about a range of issues, including the valuation of Home REIT's properties and the ability of its tenants to pay rent. Home REIT dismissed those and other allegations in a statement on Nov. 30.

The results are expected to be published "as soon as practicable," the company said in a statement on Tuesday, without providing a timeline.

On Dec. 12, Home REIT's shares plunged to a record low after it said its auditors were carrying out "enhanced audit procedures" and reiterated that all allegations made by Viceroy are "without substance".

"We don't see HOME REIT's (trading) suspension being short-term," Viceroy told Reuters in an emailed statement.

In December, HOME REIT had also said annual results for the period ending Aug. 31 would be published "as soon as practically possible" and had expected this to be no later than January.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar and Prerna Bedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)