New York - Shares in Walmart Stores
Inc, the world's largest retailer, were under pressure on Thursday as
Congress pressed on with an investigation of alleged bribery in
Shares declined 3% after markets
opened. Walmart's second quarter report fell short of analyst's
expectations, adding to the downward pressure. The company said its
earnings were $4.02bn, a 5.7% rise over the same period last year.
Revenues were up 4.5% to $114.3bn
According to members of Congress, an
investigation into alleged tax evasion and money laundering has
expanded beyond Mexico to Walmart operations in five other countries.
The challenge to Walmart to come forth with more information was
contained in a letter to Walmart this week from Representatives
Elijah Cummings and Henry Waxman.
In April, a New York Times
investigation showed that bribery played a significant role in the
rapid growth in Mexico of the US-based superstore. Local Walmart
managers allegedly paid money to skip over permit rules in its rush
to expand in Mexico.
The article triggered a multi-faceted
investigation in the US. Under US law, it is a crime for American
companies and their subsidiaries to bribe foreign officials.
Walmart's chief financial officer
Charles Holley told reporters on Thursday that the company would pull
back its expansion plans overseas as a result of the investigations
into the Mexico allegations. He noted this would apply especially to
its operations in Brazil and China.
Walmart owns 51% of SA company Massmart
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