Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Romania to investigate property speculation around Nokia factory site

BUCHAREST, Mar. 18, 2008 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) -- Romania's anti-corruption bureau said today it was investigating property speculation around a site in the northwestern town of Jucu, where Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia (NYSE:NOK) recently opened a plant.

'The investigation is looking at the circumstances in which private individuals or companies bought land in the town of Jucu before Nokia's arrival,' the National Anti-corruption Directorate said in a statement.

'There are suspicions that the use of information that should not have been made public may have produced important profits for certain beneficiaries,' it added.

Romanian media reported that prices per square metre increased 100-fold within a few months before Nokia settled in the region.

The 30-hectare plot of land on which the new plant was built was put at Nokia's disposal by the Romanian state.

The plant, which represents a total investment of 60 mln eur, will replace a Nokia operation in Bochum, Germany.

The first assembly line in Jucu was inaugurated in February.

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