By  on December 9, 2011

Investors took Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s review of its anticorruption policies and procedures in stride Friday.

Shares of the world’s largest retailer rose 0.6 percent to $58.32 following a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday that detailed the examination.

The discounter said that this year it “began conducting a voluntary internal review of its policies, procedures and internal controls pertaining to its global anticorruption compliance program.”

The retailer noted that as a result of information gleaned during that review and from other sources, it has begun an internal investigation into whether “certain matters, including permitting, licensing and inspections, were in compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.” The law broadly covers bribery and accounting rules abroad.

Wal-Mart said it hired lawyers and other advisers to help in the review. In addition, remedial measures have been implemented.

The internal investigation was voluntarily disclosed to the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC, Wal-Mart said in the filing.

“We cannot reasonably estimate the potential liability, if any, related to these matters,” the company said in the filing. “However, based on the facts currently known, we do not believe that these matters will have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.”

Wal-Mart isn’t the only firm that has had issues with compliance under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

In June 2008, Avon Products Inc. began an internal investigation of its Chinese operations’ compliance under the law.

In the case of Avon, four executives were fired and the investigation, which was voluntarily disclosed to the SEC, then spread to its operations in other countries.

For Avon, its troubles worsened. In October, the beauty firm disclosed in a regulatory filing that the SEC had issued a subpoena requesting information regarding contacts with Wall Street analysts.

That same filing also disclosed the issuance by the SEC of formal order of investigations on that matter and the company’s compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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