* Fidelity placed 2.3 pct stake - traders
* Saipem being probed in Algeria corruption case
* Another fund cut stake in December
* Shares fall over 3 percent
(Releads, adds analyst and company comment, background)
MILAN, Jan 29 Shares in Italy's Saipem
fell on Tuesday, with traders citing a placement of a 2.3
percent stake by an investment fund, just weeks after news of a
corruption probe in Algeria involving the oil services group.
"Bank of America placed 9.97 million shares at 30.65 euros
each," one trader said. Two other traders also reported the
placement, adding the seller was Fidelity.
Saipem and Fidelity were not immediately available for
In December investment fund Capital Research and Management
said it had reduced its stake in the company to 1.347 percent
from 4.908 percent.
Saipem, controlled by Italian oil and gas major Eni
, came under investigation last year for alleged
corruption in Algeria prompting the resignation of long-standing
chief executive Pietro Franco Tali.
The company, which says it acted in compliance with the law,
said the probe was looking into activities up through 2009.
The chief financial officer of Eni, who had been CFO at
Saipem until 2008, also resigned.
"Saipem is going through a difficult moment with the
management change and the scandal in Algeria," a Milan energy
Analysts are concerned about the possible repercussions on
Saipem's business in Algeria and possible fines.
Saipem, Europe's biggest oil services group, has worked on
several contracts in Algeria with state energy firm Sonatrach.
Eni has considerable gas field assets in the country. Chief
Executive Paolo Scaroni said in December he did not see any
impact on Eni's results from the case.
At 0955 GMT Saipem shares were down 3.1 percent at 30.57
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes and Giancarlo Navach; Editing by