GSK shares survive opening of fraud squad investigation

Michael Bow
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INVESTORS selling Glaxosmithkline shares in the wake of a Serious Fraud Office probe wiped just 36p off each Glaxo share yesterday, as shareholders shrugged off the investigation.

The company, which is the UK’s biggest pharmaceutical firm, said on Tuesday it was under investigation by the SFO over its commercial practices, thought to centre on ongoing allegations of bribery in China.

Markets reacted by pushing the share price from £16.35 to £16.09 yesterday, a 1.7 per cent fall.

Analysts at Societe Generale said the probe might not be a major liability for the firm, because it could have mitigation against the bribery accusations under the UK Bribery Act rules.

“As GSK is UK-headquartered, it perhaps isn’t very surprising to hear that the SFO is looking at the issue,” CMS lawyer Omar Qureshi said.

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