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Japan Watchdog Files Complaint in Wal-Mart Unit’s Trading Case

Japan’s securities watchdog said it filed a complaint with prosecutors over possible insider trading by the husband of a former board member of Seiyu GK, the local unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The man and his company bought 268,000 shares of Tokyo- based Seiyu for 23.4 million yen ($280,000) between Oct. 2 and Oct. 19, 2007, after hearing from his wife that Wal-Mart was about to take over the supermarket chain, the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission said yesterday. The regulator didn’t identify the couple in its statement.

The price translates to an average of 87 yen per share. The stock traded at an average of 90 yen when the purchases took place, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart announced its plan on Oct. 22, 2007, to pay 140 yen a share to take full ownership of Seiyu.

“We’re fully cooperating with authorities for their investigation,” Kumie Wama, a Seiyu spokeswoman, said by telephone. “We decline to comment further.”

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