CFO and others suspended by Walmart India – WMT, BHARTIARTL

Chief financial officer and other employees were suspended by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was accused of violating U.S. anti-bribery laws, a development that could hamper India’s efforts to open its domestic retail for foreign investment.

The worlds largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) said that it is conducting inquiries of bribery allegation in Brazil, China, India and Mexico.

“We cannot carry out a fair investigation when the people we are investigating are in office. What we must not forget is they are innocent until proven guilty,” an official at the Indian unit said. This was their routine investigation procedure.

Then Indian investigating authority suspected and initiated a thorough investigation of the joint venture between Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Bharti Airtel Limited (NSE: BHARTIARTL).

Claims of Wal-Mart violating foreign exchange rules is also being investigated as the company was accused of investing $100 million in a domestic company which was owned by its wholesale joint-venture partner.

Opposition parties of India have been against allowing foreign investment in retail as they are of the view that doing so would mean shutting down of business for small traders. In the winter session of parliament which started yesterday opposition demanded for a debate and vote on the policy decision governing FDI in retail.

Central government is keen on allowing FDI in retail as that would mean more jobs and better prices for consumers. Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) were marginally down by 0.16% to close at $68.89, and shares of Bharti Airtel Limited (NSE: BHARTIARTL) were down by 0.76% to close at INR305.45.

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