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US DOJ probes StanChart over bribery allegations at Indonesian power company

StandardChartered Plc is facing a probe by the U.S. Department of Justiceover allegations of possible bribery and misconduct at an Indonesian powerplant builder it controls, The WallStreet Journal reported Sept. 27, citing an internal audit at the companyand a separate review by law firm Sidley Austin LLP.

The DOJ is investigating whether executives of MAXpowerGroup Pte. Ltd. supposedly paid bribes to win contracts and smooth relations withenergy officials in Indonesia and whether StanChart executives on the company'sboard were aware of, or approved, the alleged bribes, according to "peoplewith knowledge of the investigation."

StanChart noted that it conducted its own review on the matterand "proactively referred" it to "appropriate authorities,"according to the Journal. The lenderhas reportedly disclosed at least some of the alleged inappropriate payments tothe DOJ, Bank ofEngland and MonetaryAuthority of Singapore, according to "people familiar with thematter." MAXpower also noted that it is working with advisory firms toinvestigate the matter.

StanChart acquired a stake in MAXpower in 2012 and became amajority shareholder in 2015 through a $60 million cash infusion that broughtits total investment to $143 million, according to the report.