September 27, 2019 / 2:30 AM / a month ago

Japanese shares slump on governance worries, JDI tumbles as bailout falters

TOKYO, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Friday by the most in almost five weeks due to worries about corporate governance after a media report that executives from Kansai Electric Power Co Inc received payments from a former official of a town that hosts one of the utility’s nuclear power plants.

Shares in Apple Inc supplier Japan Display Inc tumbled by the most in three months after an influential Chinese investor withdrew from a financial bailout of the troubled smartphone screen maker, increasing the chance of the 80 billion yen ($742.46 million) deal collapsing.

At 0155 GMT the Nikkei index was down 1.34% at 21,752.13.

Kansai Electric’s President Shigeki Iwane told reporters on Friday that he and some other executives had received 320 million yen payments from a person outside the company over a period of seven years.

The deputy mayor of the town hosting the nuclear power plant had told tax authorities he provided the money to Kansai Electric officials as a token of appreciation for supporting the town, Kyodo reported.

Iwane told reporters he and other officials were punished internally, but the payments raise questions about how Kansai Electric’s internal controls allowed the officials to receive the money in the first place.

Nikkei shares were on course for a 1.50% decline this week, which would be the biggest weekly decline since Aug. 9, as sentiment for stocks weakened globally due to concerns about an impeachment probe of U.S. President Donald Trump.

There were 202 decliners on the Nikkei index against 20 advancers on Friday.

The largest percentage losses in the index were Kansai Electric down 7.43%, followed by Chiba Bank Ltd losing 5.44% and NTN Corp down by 5.26%.

The largest percentage gainers in the index were Fanuc Corp up 1.18%, followed by Rakuten Inc gaining 0.84% and DeNA Co Ltd up by 0.69%.

The broader Topix was down 1.60% at 1,597.37.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.49 billion, compared to the average of 1.16 billion yen in the past 30 days. ($1 = 107.7500 yen)

Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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