S.Korea KT CEO steps down as arrest warrant issued

SEOUL, Nov 5 (Reuters) - The chief executive at South Korea's KT Corp 030200.KS stepped down on Wednesday after a local court issued a warrant to arrest him on suspicion of receiving bribes.

Prosecutors have been investigating KT, South Korea's top fixed-line and broadband operator, and its CEO Nam Joong-soo in a spreading bribe scandal that has already seen top management replaced at KT's mobile unit, KTF Co Ltd 032390.KS.

KT said in a statement the company’s board accepted Nam’s resignation offer as “recent developments made it difficult for Nam to conduct his duties”.

Before the announcement, the Seoul Central District Court said it issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday against Nam for alleged bribery. A court spokesman did not give details of the allegations and KT declined to comment on them.

Former KTF CEO Cho Young-chu stepped down in September and was indicted last month on charges that he took kickbacks from suppliers.

Analysts are worried prosecutor investigations and management reshuffles could delay key business decisions at KT and KTF, when the local telecom industry sees fierce competition over a new breed of products combining fixed-line and mobile services.

KT and KTF compete with SK Telecom 017670.KS, the country's top mobile carrier, and its affiliate SK Broadband 033630.KQ. (Reporting by Rhee So-eui; Editing by Alex Richardson)