A Shanghai court early Monday decided that four Rio Tinto (RTP) employees were guilty of accepting bribes and stealing state secrets.
According to reports, Australian national Stern Hu received 10 years in prison, Wang Yong received 14 years, Ge Minqiang was sentenced to eight years, and Liu Caikui was sentenced to seven years. There were also some fines for Hu associated with the charges. All four of the accused plead guilty to bribery, but argued the size of the bribes offered.
Rio Tinto followed the announcement by stating that it terminated all four of the Shanghai employees. The company's statement noted that it reviewed the evidence in relation to the bribery charges, deciding that the conduct was "deplorable" and "at odds" with Rio Tinto's ethical culture. Rio Tinto's CEO noted, "We have been informed of the clear evidence presented in court that showed beyond doubt that the four convicted employees had accepted bribes." Reportedly, several Chinese companies bribed these employees.
Technically, RTP is in good shape. The stock currently trades in the upper $230 region, which may be considered a virtual bargain when compared to RTP's May 2008 highs. The equity currently rests on its 10-week moving average, which has provided support since the middle of 2009. The same holds true on a monthly basis, as the shares rebounded off their 10-month trendline -- propelling them through their 20- and 50-month counterparts. Is RTP set to soar back to its 2008 highs? I don't think I would go that far, but there are worse ways to invest $238, right?