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Telekom Austria Declines as Prosecutor Probes CEO: Vienna Mover

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Telekom Austria AG, the phone company partly controlled by Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB, dropped to a new record low after Austrian prosecutors confirmed an investigation of its chief executive officer.

The stock finished 3.5 percent lower at 4.55 euros at the 5:30 p.m. market close in Vienna, having changed hands 1.5 times as often as on an average trading day in the last three months. Telekom Austria’s market value has fallen by half this year to 2.02 billion euros ($2.6 billion).

The investigation into alleged 2008 payments by CEO Hannes Ametsreiter to a politically-linked public relations company “will certainly take a little more time,” Vienna state prosecutor spokesman Thomas Vecsey said today via telephone. The investigation was first reported by Die Presse newspaper.

The allegations are “incomprehensible” and Ametsreiter wasn’t involved in talks that led to a 1.4 million-euro payment, Telekom Austria said in an OTS statement. The money was used to sponsor a company venue during the 2008 European soccer championship, it said. Telekom Austria said it found no irregularities through its own investigation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Tirone in Vienna at jtirone@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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