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.