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Tokyo Electric shares slump

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Tokyo Electric shares slump
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Shares of Tokyo Electric Power tumbled to a record low on Tuesday amid mounting investor concerns about how it will cope with the bill for its tsunami-hit nuclear power plant.

The shares slumped further on a newspaper report that TEPCO will begin paying compensation to people forced to evacuate their homes or who suffered other losses, even before damages from the accident have been assessed.

The company said nothing had been decided about the payment of compensation claims.

“We are still in discussion as to what extent we will pay on our own and to what extent we will have assistance from the government,” TEPCO executive vice-president Takashi Fujimotohe told a news conference.

TEPCO did say that it had started paying token “condolence money” to local governments to aid people evacuated from around its stricken plant or affected by the radiation crisis.