Walmart’s Brazillian arm has admitted making over half a million dollars in “improper payments” and indulging in corrupt practices in india, Mexico, China, and Brazil.
In a press release posted on the US Department of Justice website, it states that the US-based retail giant has agreed to pay $1.37 million in fines for alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The report reads: “In numerous instances, senior Walmart employees knew of failures of its anti-corruption-related internal controls involving foreign subsidiaries, and yet Walmart failed for years to implement sufficient controls comporting with U.S. criminal laws.”
Apparently, Walmart’s failure to implement sufficient internal accounting controls for anti-corruption between 2009 and 2011, resulted in bribes being paid to government officials to obtain store operating permits and licenses. These improper payments were recorded in accounts as “misc fees”, “professional fees”, “incidental”, and “government fee” but actually pertained to illegal transactions.
The company has also agreed to disgorge some $144 million in profits as a part of a resolution reached with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Despite the news, Walmart Inc (WMT) stock is still trading on an upward trajectory on the NYSE, up 0.62% today, at the time of writing.
Brexit impacts financial investment outlook in London
Whilst in 2018, London received the most foreign investment in financial services out of the whole EU, the forecast for 2019 is not as rosy.
According to a survey from EY, investor sentiment has fallen to an all-time low as continued uncertainty over Brexit creates an environment of uncertainty for the months to come.
In 2018, the uk attracted 112 FDI projects with 27% originating from the US. London on its own, accounted for 81 of these projects, up for 47 during the previous year. Unfortunately this upwards trajectory has stalled following the unknown state of the country’s exit from the European Union.
Around 50% of all senior executives, chairs, and presidents surveyed by EY said they believe the UK’s attractiveness as a financial hub will decrease over the next three years.
“The main concerns investors have over the UK’s future prospects are loss of access to EU markets and restrictions on labour mobility,” EY said.
“This is in part a reflection of the market’s fragmentation as firms looked to set up a second EU headquarters in advance of Brexit.”
Shares tumble on EU markets following US-Iran tensions
European stock markets took a downward tumble on Friday afternoon following increasing tensions between the US and Iran.
Despite gains being made in the morning, the European Stoxx600 registered a decrease of around 0.25% during the afternoon, with most sectors in the red. The only sector to remain unscathed was that of oil and gas who traded at around 1% higher as the price of oil rose. Brent Crude and Swedish company, Lundin Petroleum reached dizzying hights, with the latter gaining 5% during the early afternoon.
London-based IQE warned that revenue would be less than anticipated for the rest of the year following uncertainty around sanctions on Huawei as several of their customers decreased their forecasts. Their shares tumbled 30% as a result, triggering similar slides with firms including AMS, Siltronic, and Infineon.