Samsung Elec says bribes probe may shake investors

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SEOUL, Nov 28 (Reuters) A senior Samsung Electronics official said on Wednesday that some investors could be unsettled by a probe into corruption at the Samsung Group, the country's largest conglomerate.

President Roh Moo-hyun said on Tuesday he would approve a bill authorising a special prosecutor to look into accusations made by a former top Samsung legal executive that the company maintained a slush fund of over 0 million to bribe officials.

''We are not concerned as the truth will come out from the prosecutors' investigation, but there is a lot of turmoil and a possibility it could have repercussions,'' said Chu Woo-sik, executive vice president in charge of investor relations at Samsung Electronics.

''There is no significant (investor) movement so far, but maybe one out of 15 or 20 may be concerned and wondering what to do,'' Chu said, speaking at a Samsung Electronics technology forum in Seoul. ''That is a great concern.'' Share prices in several Samsung affiliates fell on Tuesday on the news of the special investigator and a report by prosecutors that they have barred a few senior executives from travelling overseas.

Samsung Electronics shares lost 4.26 pct to 539,000 won on Tuesday but were 0.7 percent higher at 543,000 won on Wednesday, helped by comments from the company that it expected oversupply in computer chips to ease in 2008.

South Korean newspapers reported on Wednesday that some of the corruption allegations may have taken place in the early 1990s and would not be subject to criminal investigation because the statute of limitations had passed.

REUTERS SLD KP1200

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