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IKEA halts new investment in Russia

MOSCOW, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Swedish furniture maker IKEA said it was halting investment in a $1 billion Mega-4 mall northeast of Moscow until it completed other projects.

Specifically, the company will concentrate on completion of a shopping mall in the city of Samara, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

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It was unclear how much the decision was connected to a bribery scandal that came to light in February. The company fired two top managers, Per Kaufmann, director of IKEA for Central and Eastern Europe, and Stephan Gross, director for real estate in Russia, for failing to disclose information about a bribe paid by a contractor to secure a contract to supply the Mega Mall in St. Petersburg with electric equipment.

The mall project in Samara has run into its own difficulties, its opening delayed eight times since 2007 over code violations, RIA Novosti said.

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