Keppel says ex-agent's deals 'suspicious'

Keppel Corp, which has long maintained zero tolerance towards illegal activity including bribery, said yesterday a former agent who helped it with deals with Brazilian national oil company Petrobras - now mired in a corruption probe - may have engaged in "suspicious" transactions.

Share prices of Keppel Corp tumbled 1.7 per cent after Keppel admitted that, after further internal investigations, it "recognises" that certain transactions associated with its former agent, Zwi Skornicki, may be suspicious, and has notified the Brazilian authorities of its intention to cooperate.

Shares of Sembcorp Marine, which also has major rig contracts in Brazil, fell 1.9 per cent.

A former Petrobras executive had testified earlier that agents for Keppel and SembMarine forked out more than US$9.5 million (S$12.9 million) to Petrobras, its oil-rig supplier Sete Brasil and Brazil's Workers' Party to procure several contracts to build rigs.

Both companies had repeatedly denied bribery allegations.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2016, with the headline 'Keppel says ex-agent's deals 'suspicious''. Print Edition | Subscribe