Shares in French aerospace giant Airbus encountered turbulence today due to the launch of a UK investigation into possible fraud, bribery and corruption at the company.
Airbus shares slid to as low as €50.16 (£42.65), down 84 cents, or 1.7%, in early trading.
They later recovered slightly but remained the biggest fallers on France’s widely positive blue-chip stock market index, the CAC 40.
Airbus told investors yesterday Britain’s Serious Fraud Office had opened a criminal investigation into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption in its civil aviation business.
The probe relates to “irregularities concerning third-party consultants”. The company said it was cooperating with the SFO.
It follows an April decision by government agency UK Export Finance to freeze applications by Airbus for export credits.
The credits are used to aid exporters and can involve underwriting bank loans. The SFO was at the time reviewing documents detailing the company’s use of overseas agents.
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