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Wal-Mart probe hits Kimco Realty

The biggest operator of shopping malls in the United States said it received a subpoena from the SEC in connection with the ongoing FCPA investigation of Wal-Mart.

Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE: KIM), a real estate investment trust, is headquartered in New Hyde Park, New York. It owns interests in 896 shopping centers and has holdings in Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and South America.

It said it received the subpoena on January 28 ‘from the Enforcement Division of the SEC in connection with an investigation, In the Matter of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., that the SEC Staff is currently conducting with respect to possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.’

Kimco said it is responding to the subpoena and intends to cooperate fully with the SEC.

It has also been notified by the DOJ of a parallel investigation and ‘expects that it will cooperate with the DOJ investigation.’

Wal-Mart is among Kimco’s five biggest tenants (with The Home Depot, TJX Companies, Sears, and Bed Bath & Beyond) and accounts for 2.6% of its revenues, Kimco said.

The disclosure didn’t include details about Kimco’s overseas locations leased by Wal-Mart.

In April last year, the New York Times published an account about $24 million in bribes paid by Wal-Mart’s Mexican subsidiary for licenses to expand throughout the country, and a massive cover up of the bribes after they were discovered as early as 2005.

Wal-Mart said last year the U.S. investigation that started in Mexico had expanded at least to Brazil, China, and India.

In November last year, Wal-Mart’s India joint venture suspended its chief financial officer and others during the growing global bribery investigation.

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