>> British Telecom has a big repair job on its hands, loosing a fifth of its market value in a single day, shares down 18%. Its worst ever fall as the company struggles with the fallout of an accounting scandal in its Italian offices. Sources tell Reuters that prosecutors in Milan have opened an embezzlement and false accounting investigation into the company, which has admitted to a $660 million black hole in its accounts in that country.
One source says the Italian office colluded with third party groups and suppliers to inflate their cashflow. It went on until a whistle blower notified their headquarters in London. Now the company has been forced to cut its earning forecast for the next two years. It's been compounded by a slowdown in British government contracts, and a slow recovery from the 2008 economic downturn.