TEXT-S&P: Wal-Mart ratings unaffected by bribery charges
April 24 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that allegations about alleged breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (AA/Stable/A-1+) do not have an impact on the current ratings or outlook on the company at this time. Notwithstanding Wal-Mart's strong and sustained commitment to avoiding corruption and bribery evidenced in corporate policy documents and disclosures, significant questions have now arisen about the communication of those policies to employees, including senior executives, and the meaningful commitment to compliance with those policies. Equally troubling--if these allegations are true--is that it suggests Wal-Mart's governance and controls are less than we would have expected for a multinational company of this stature and rating. We will be closely monitoring developments in the investigations and assess impacts they may have on the ratings, including potential changes in management, the company's international growth strategy, financial policies, negative reputational impact, and regulatory and litigation risk.
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