UK's Home REIT rejects allegations by short-seller Viceroy Research

By Aby Jose Koilparambil

(Reuters) - Britain's Home REIT said on Wednesday its business was sound as it rejected allegations in a report by short-seller Viceroy Research questioning its financial situation.

The housing provider for the homeless had delayed issuing its results, which were due for publication on Nov. 28, pending verification by its auditor following last week's report by Viceroy, best known for raising the alarm on Germany's Wirecard.

Listing what it described as rebuttals to five allegations made in the report, Home REIT urged Viceroy to "engage with the company and discontinue their campaign in the media".

"Home REIT is completely confident in the integrity of the business it is operating, its financial soundness and the beneficial impact the company is having in reducing homelessness in the UK," it said.

Viceroy told Reuters in an email that it would issue a detailed response to Home REIT's rebuttals later on Wednesday.

The housing provider's stock fell as much as 28% after the publication of Viceroy's report on Nov. 23. But the stock recovered some ground on Wednesday, leaving shares about 20% lower than the closing price on Nov. 22.

Viceroy raised questions about a range of issues, including the valuation of Home REIT's properties and the ability of its tenants to pay rent.

Among its rebuttals, the FTSE 250 firm said its revaluation gain was established by an external process. It also said there were no overdue arrears related to amounts billed to Aug. 31.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee)