The BMW logo is seen on a car in Nice

INTERNATIONAL - BMW shares fell after the luxury carmaker warned of a probable first-quarter charge exceeding 1billion (R15.87bn) related to an EU investigation into alleged collusion by German automakers to delay the rollout of cleaner-emission cars. 

The stock dropped as much as 2percent yesterday, the most in two weeks, after the Munich-based manufacturer said on Friday that the provision would weigh on first-quarter results and reduce its automotive profit margin this year to as low as 4.5percent. 

Daimler and Volkswagen shares also slumped as much as 1.6percent and 1.4percent respectively, less than their rival, because of co-operation with regulators, and VW stock recovered later. 

The EU announced in September that it had opened a probe into BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler over suspected collusion that could have delayed clean-emissions technology for cars. 

The commission, which sent the manufacturers a statement of objections on Friday, laid out allegations that the automakers participated in a cartel to limit or delay two types of technology for diesel and gasoline cars. 

BLOOMBERG