Dutch oil and gas company SBM Offshore has agreed a US$240m (€192m) out-of-court settlement for bribes paid to two of Africa’s largest oil producers and Brazil, said prosecutors in the Netherlands.
“SBM offshore has accepted an offer from the Dutch prosecutor’s office to enter in an out-of-court settlement,” read a statement issued in The Hague. The payment comprises a US$40m fine and a US$200m profit payback.
Shares in SMB Offshore, which produces ships and rigs for the offshore oil and gas sector, rose sharply on the Amsterdam stock exchange after the US Department of Justice dropped its own probe in response to the settlement.
The payout follows a two-year internal investigation by the company based in Schiedam outside Rotterdam, after it discovered its sales agents in Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Brazil were bribing government officials.
SBM Offshore itself informed the prosecutor’s office, Openbaar Ministeries (OM), of the internal investigation and pledged to fully cooperate.
In Angola, set to overtake Nigeria as Africa’s largest oil producer, “government officials, who are associated with at least one of the sales agents, received funds,” prosecutors said.
“In addition, there are payments for travel and study costs to one or more Angolan government officials or their relatives.”
In Equatorial Guinea in early 2012 SBM Offshore discovered “that one of its former sales agents might have given certain items of value to government officials,” said the OM’s statement. Government officials were also bribed in Brazil.
Prosecutors said that as SBM Offshore initiated the investigation and took measures to prevent bribery from reoccurring, it “sees the out-of-court settlement as an appropriate outcome of this matter.”
The investigation and settlement “showed that the Netherlands takes action against foreign corruption.”
The most interesting outcomes of PSD2 will be derived from companies combining open banking with data from other areas like social media or government, argued Miles Cheetham, Open Banking Ltd.
In today’s digitally connected world, infinite quantities of data are produced by consumers daily at a mind-boggling pace and volume. With under three months left to prepare, here are four areas for businesses to consider, to make sure they are ready for GDPR implementation.
The US money market fund reforms came into effect in 2016 and are already dramatically shaping US fund industry with investors flooding out of prime funds and into government securities. While the reforms are similar, they are not the same. GTNews interviews Yeng Bulter, global head of the cash business at State Street Global Advisors on the differences.
Far and away, the largest financial market on the planet is the foreign exchange currencies market, where on average individuals and organisations trade more than $5 trillion daily. In the FX world, the ability to master the market isn't considered a luxury for treasury officers–it's a necessity.